Warriors

NBA Gameday: Big test, opportunity for JaVale McGee vs Nikola Jokic

NBA Gameday: Big test, opportunity for JaVale McGee vs Nikola Jokic

Programming note: Warriors-Nuggets coverage starts tonight at 5pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Klay Thompson will be on the bench nursing a sore right heel, and Shaun Livingston will be back in the Bay Area awaiting the birth of his first child Monday night when the Warriors face the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.

Suddenly, the Warriors backcourt is thin again. Patrick McCaw likely will start at guard alongside Stephen Curry, with Ian Clark and Briante Weber, both barely 6-foot-2, being the only true guards in reserve.

The Warriors (46-8) will be chasing their ninth win in 10 games.

Denver (24-30) also will be without a couple key players, as forwards Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari are out with injuries.

The Nuggets, even when healthy, have been awful on defense. Seven of their last eight opponents have rung up at least 117 points.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 12

MATCHUP TO WATCH

JaVale McGee vs. Nikola Jokic: Some of McGee’s best moments came during his two-plus seasons in Denver. He’ll want to show well. Jokic will make that difficult. Six days from his 22nd birthday, the highly skilled Serbian already is one of the league’s most dangerous big men; his 26.96 PER is eighth in the NBA and tops among centers. If he has his way in and around the paint, the Nuggets keep it close.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (personal), C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain), G Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler (illness) is listed as questionable. G Emmanuel Mudiay (low back pain) is listed as doubtful. F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness), F Kenneth Faried (R ankle sprain) and F Danilo Gallinari (L groin strain) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Nuggets: 5-5.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first two meetings this season, the first in Denver and the second in Oakland. They have won eight of the last 10 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE ROTATIONS: The absence of Thompson and Livingston will create havoc on the player rotations employed by coach Steve Kerr. Livingston typically starts the second and fourth quarters, allowing Curry to rest. Thompson is the designated shooter when Kevin Durant and Curry are on the bench. Much will be needed from swingman Andre Iguodala. Expect longer minutes from Weber.

TIME TO EAT: The Warriors are No. 1 in offensive rating. The Nuggets are No. 30 (dead last) in both defensive rating and opponents’ field-goal percentage. The numbers suggest whoever is on the court for the Warriors will have a chance to feast.

THE PACE: The thin air in Denver generally affects visiting teams more than the Nuggets, but the light rosters are bound to make both teams vulnerable. Both teams like to play fast, but that will be a particularly daunting challenge under these circumstances.

Report: Dwyane Wade, Bulls expected to agree on buyout

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AP

Report: Dwyane Wade, Bulls expected to agree on buyout

It appears that the Dwyane Wade era in Chicago won't last much longer.

The 2006 NBA Finals MVP and the Bulls are expected to reach terms on a buyout agreement within the next few months, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell.

In July 2016, Wade signed a two-year deal worth $47 million -- with a $23.8 million player option in Year 2.

In late June, he exercised the option.

If a buyout happens, Wade would become a free agent.

He is very close with LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony reportedly wants to be traded to Houston.

The Warriors open the season against the Rockets on Oct. 17.

Wade's status will be a story worth watching.

The 12-time All-Star will turn 36 years old in January.

Kevin Durant responds to tweet saying Cavs should trade LeBron

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USATI

Kevin Durant responds to tweet saying Cavs should trade LeBron

Kevin Durant was recently playing some pickup ball with LeBron James (see video below).

And on Wednesday afternoon, he reacted to a fan's opinion on what the Cavs should do with LeBron.

LeBron took his talents to South Beach in July 2010, and the Cavs landed the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 (Kyrie Irving), 2013 (Anthony Bennett) and 2014 (Andrew Wiggins).

Durant should have also mentioned that LeBron has a no-trade clause and that Dan Gilbert can't trade LeBron even if he wants to.

[RELATED: The report about LeBron's future with Cavs is reportedly '100 percent false']

Also, why would LeBron waive his no-trade clause and agree to be shipped to a team that is going to have to relinquish many assets just to get LeBron?

He can simply play this season out and then determine his future next summer.

The only question that needs to be answered at this point is: Will the Cavs actually trade Kyrie Irving or will they hold out and hope for a reconciliation?

Enjoy the video...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller