Firing up jumpers, Durant 'clearly making progress,' will travel with Warriors

Firing up jumpers, Durant 'clearly making progress,' will travel with Warriors

Editor's Note: The above video is from Friday, March 17, 2017.

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant over the past 10 days has progressed from taking shots from a chair to set shots to firing up jumpers.

Though there still is no timetable for his return, Durant will be on the team flight Sunday when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.

“He’s clearly making progress. It’s great,” coach Steve Kerr said late Saturday afternoon, prior to tipoff against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Durant sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee on Feb. 28 at Washington. He returned to the Bay Area the next day, his leg immobilized in a bulky brace while he moved about on crutches.

Scheduled for re-evaluation in about 10 days, Durant is walking comfortably and working up a sweat on the stationary bicycle.

“You can tell he’s making improvements and following the game plan,” Stephen Curry said. “I see him in the weight room doing cardio stuff trying to stay as close to game shape as he can while he’s hurt. You like to see improvements every day. We still don’t know when he’ll be back.”

Durant said he would not return until his knee feels 100 percent, and his teammates -- who are 4-4 in the eight games he has missed -- would have it no other way.

“When he’s ready, we’ll know,” Draymond Green said. “But it’s not really our job to try to figure out every day how he’s doing. You can kind of see he’s getting better and you just leave it at that.”

 

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.

Stephen Jackson: Draymond Green 'is a new version of me'

Stephen Jackson: Draymond Green 'is a new version of me'

In the Warriors' sweep of the Blazers, Draymond Green was fantastic.

He averaged 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 4.3 blocks and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep.

On Tuesday morning, former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson was asked about the two-time runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year.

"I don't want to change him at all. That chip on his shoulder, the way he plays, as Steve Kerr will tell you -- every team needs a guy like that," Jackson said on KNBR 680. "I was that guy in San Antonio. I was that guy on a lot of teams.

"You need a guy like that to even it out. You don't want your team to be a pushover. And sometimes, his emotion might hurt the team. But you can live with that, because you got a guy going to bat for all your guys.

"He's one of the best all-around players in the league -- Top 5 -- and you need a guy like that. He makes that team better.

"He's one of those guys that puts his body on the line for a team, passes up a shot to make a pass, guard the best player and not worry about scoring -- that's my type of guy."

When the "We Believe" Warriors upset the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, Jackson averaged 22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals, while shooting over 47 percent from 3-point territory in that series.

"I say Draymond is a new version of me -- just way more athletic," Jackson added. "And I love it. I wore his jersey last year to The Finals, and I plan on wearing it again."