Golden State Warriors

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/16/18

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

8:54pm:

  • The Warriors have assigned Damian Jones to their G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the organization announced in a press release. Jones appeared in one game with Golden State this season, with most of his play coming in the G League. In 26 games with Santa Cruz, Jones has averaged 15.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 2.1 APG while shooting 68.6% from the field.

6:59pm:

  • The Bucks have recalled Jabari Parker from the Wisconsin Herd, according to the team’s Twitter feed. The former No. 2 overall pick has yet to play in an NBA game this season, though it was previously reported that he hopes to return to the court before the All-Star break.
  • The Thunder have assigned Dakari Johnson to the Oklahoma City Blue, according to the team’s website. The center made one G League appearance earlier this season where he scored 21 points and nabbed 11 rebounds.

Kevin Durant Wants To Eventually Own NBA Team

Warriors forward Kevin Durant has “serious intentions” of buying an NBA franchise after his playing career ends, league sources tell Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. That desire has intensified since Durant arrived in Golden State, per Haynes.

In the year and a half since Durant signed with the Warriors, he and business partner Rich Kleiman have taken several meetings with existing team owners and tech CEOs to survey the “lay of the land,” Haynes writes. According to ESPN’s report, Durant and Kleiman have been strategic about getting face time with “some of the most influential and innovative business figures in the Bay Area,” with the star forward hoping to eventually join Michael Jordan in the ranks of former players who become team owners.

“This is a genuine goal of [Durant’s] after he retires, to add another African-American in the position of majority ownership,” a source told Haynes.

Durant, who won’t celebrate his 30th birthday until September, still has many years as a player ahead of him — he told Sam Amick of USA Today last week that he can imagine playing until he’s 40. While that means that potential team ownership is still a ways off, it also means Durant could have another decade to increase his career earnings to the point where majority ownership is more financially viable.

Basketball-Reference‘s data suggests that Durant’s career salary after this season will total $160MM+, and that figure doesn’t include off-court earnings like endorsements and investments. The reigning Finals MVP will also be in position this summer to sign a mammoth new maximum-salary contract with Golden State. Based on current cap projections, such a deal would increase Durant’s total career NBA salary to approximately $365MM.

Nikola Mirotic, 15 Others Become Trade-Eligible

Today is January 15, which means that trade restrictions have lifted for most of the rest of the NBA’s 2017 offseason signees. While the majority of those ’17 free agents became trade-eligible on December 15, there was a small subset of free agent signees whose trade ineligibility lasted for another month.

The 16 players whose trade restrictions lift today meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous teams this offseason, but they received raises of at least 20%, their salaries are worth more than the minimum, and their teams were over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.

The most notable name in this group is Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic. He’s not the best player on the list — Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry would be among those vying for that honor. But Mirotic is the most likely player to be dealt out of the 16 guys becoming trade-eligible today. He has been linked to a handful of teams already, including the Jazz, Pistons, and Trail Blazers.

Here are the 16 players becoming trade-eligible today:

With three and a half weeks left until this season’s February 8 trade deadline, nearly all of the NBA’s players are now eligible to be dealt. The only players still ineligible to be moved are those who signed free agent contracts later than October 15, plus certain players who signed contract extensions in the offseason.

Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (January 17), Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson (January 19), and Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (January 22) are now the only remaining players who will become trade-eligible between today and February 8. For the full list of players who won’t become trade-eligible before this year’s deadline, click here.

Draymond Green Fined For Comment About Officials

West Believes Opt-Out Saved His Career

The comments drew a harsh reaction from other coaches such as the Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle, the Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy and the Warriors’ Steve Kerr, but Bontemps says Lakers management failed to speak out swiftly to defend Walton.

  • Warriors forward David West heard a lot of second guessing when he turned down a $12.6MM option with the Pacers in 2015, but he tells Chris Hayes of ESPN he doesn’t think he would still be playing without that decision. He signed a $1.4MM contract with the Spurs that year and has taken similar deals with the Warriors the past two seasons. “I would have retired, man,” West said. “That would have been it, because I wanted to compete for a championship. I needed to experience that. So, if I played out my contract there, that would have been it. I was walking away. I wanted to feel like I was playing for something.”

Jamal Crawford Wanted To Play With Isaiah Thomas

Veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford would have signed with the Cavaliers if their blockbuster trade with the Celtics had happened sooner, he revealed to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Crawford is close friends with Isaiah Thomas and that would have played a pivotal role in deciding where to go as a free agent last summer.

“That’s my brother,” Crawford told Vardon and other media members. “We’re past like friends or basketball relationship. … Like, we go on vacation, like it’s his family and my family. … so that would’ve had to change things.”

Cleveland wanted to sign Crawford for the veteran’s minimum but the Timberwolves offered their $4.3MM room mid-level exception. Crawford has a player option worth $4.6MM for next season.

Crawford also considered signing with the Warriors after the Clippers traded him to the Hawks. Atlanta had no intention of keeping Crawford after acquiring him in a three-team deal in July and the two sides reached a buyout agreement.

Crawford also liked the idea of joining a team on the upswing, instead of one of the reigning conference champions, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“If I would go there and we would win a championship, I’d be like ‘OK, what’s next Jamal?’ You want to embrace that journey and I wanted to go through it with these guys,” said Crawford, referring to the Timberwolves. “There’s nothing against , like, I have the ultimate respect for the Cavs and the Warriors and all those teams. But they’re already there. I wanted to go somewhere where they can kind of build up.”

Crawford is averaging 9.7 PPG and 2.3 APG in 18.8 MPG as one of Minnesota’s key reserves.

Warriors Could Be Targeting Anthony Davis Long-Term

  • The Warriors always tend to have an eye on their major long-term goals, kicking around possible acquisition targets that they could pursue when the time is right. Tim Kawakami of The Athletic writes that one of those targets could be Anthony Davis.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Warriors, Walton, Rivers

In Stephen Curry‘s absence, the Warriors did not stop winning as they won nine of the 11 games they played without their two-time Most Valuable Player. Despite their winning ways, the Warriors are a completely different team with a different mentality when Curry is healthy, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes.

Without Curry, the Warriors still have shooting prowess of Klay Thompson, the versatility of Draymond Green, and the natural talent of Kevin Durant to guide the team. However, with Curry in the mix, he draws so much attention — mixed with his skill — that opposing teams struggle to adjust.

“He brings something different than anybody ever has, to be honest with you,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr tells Bontemps. “There are plenty of guys who dominate the game in different ways. You think of Shaq overpowering people, or Michael Jordans combination of power and skill and tenacity. But nobody has ever tilted the floor the way Steph does at such a deep range and with such incredible ballhandling skills.”

Curry scored 38 points with an NBA season-high 10 three’s made in his on-court return on Saturday. The 29-8 Warriors remain the top seed in the Western Conference and a healthy Curry only increases the odds that they will finish the regular season with the NBA’s best record for a fourth straight season.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • There have been reports of the Warriors looking to trade one of their big men as JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulias names have come up in rumors. Danny Leroux of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) examines how trading one of those players would impact the team’s salary cap.
  • The Lakers‘ losses have piled up in recent weeks but head coach Luke Walton is adamant about maintaining his decision-making and coaching style consistent, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. “The guys know every decision I make might not always be right,” Walton said. “But every decision I make is answered with, ‘What do I believe is best for the team?’”
  • Austin Rivers‘ strained right Achilles tendon — while not season-ending — is only the latest blow to a Clippers team that has faced a drove of season-altering injuries, Elliot Teaford of the Orange County Register writes.

 

Stephen Curry Will Return Tonight

After missing 11 games with a sprained right ankle, Stephen Curry will be back on the court for the Warriors tonight in Memphis, according to Marc J. Spears on ESPN Now. Coach Steve Kerr plans to limit him to 20-25 minutes and use him in “six or seven minute bursts.”

Golden State managed a 9-2 record without Curry, who suffered the injury December 4 in New Orleans.

Curry underwent a third and final re-evaluation on the ankle Friday and received medical clearance from team doctors, relays Chris Haynes of ESPN. He participated in a three-on-three scrimmage Thursday, followed by a practice focusing on five-man drills with no defenders.

“Oh yeah, he’s excited. He’s fired up,” Kerr said. “The process was just going along with the medical staff’s recommendation and just the daily progress that he was making, combined with the schedule the way it works out tomorrow should be a good game for him to play. I wouldn’t want him to play on a back-to-back with his ankle healing. It appears he is good to go and then we don’t play again for a while. Should be a good time for him to go for it.”

The two-time MVP was averaging 26.3 points through 23 games before the injury. Curry signed a $201MM super max deal over the summer, so the Warriors wanted to protect their investment and make sure he was fully recovered.

Shaun Livingtston Says Warriors Expect To Win Without Curry

  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston spoke to Logan Murdock of the Mercury News to discuss his role on the team, adjusting with Stephen Curry injured, and dealing with his own injury. Livingston said that Golden State expects to win even if one of their All-Star’s is out. “I think what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s been expected to be honest with you. For us, as players, we believe in ourselves, we believe in our game,” he said.
  • In a wide-ranging interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Atheltic (subscription required and recommended), Warriors sharpshooter Nick Young discussed his adjustment to the Warriors and appreciation for life in Oakland.
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