Despite much hand-wringing and worry, everything is settingup for center Andrew Bogut to play his first game for the Warriors in the regular season opener Wednesday night in Arizona.Bogut, who fractured his left ankle while playing for theMilwaukee Bucks in January, hasnt played competitively since then but didparticipate in complete practices on Monday and Tuesday.Bogut will likely go through shootaround in Phoenix thismorning and then make a determination. But if the ankle is pain-free, which itwas after Mondays practice, expect Bogut to be in the starting lineup when theWarriors open their season against the Suns in Phoenix.Bogut didnt play in any of the Warriors eight preseasongames, but he was running with the first team on Monday and Tuesday. If Bogutcant go on Wednesday night, rookie Festus Ezeli will get the start.Even if Bogut plays, his minutes are likely to belimited.Bogut said earlier this week that he wouldnt put atimetable on his return, indicating that he will return when his ankle feelsstrong enough. At the time, Bogut said it was possible hed play in the opener,but didnt want to promise that in case of a setback.The original plan for Bogut was to participate in most oftraining camp and then play the final preseason game or two. But Bogut got alate start with training camp practices and never got around toplaying.Still, with two practices under his belt, and the anklefeeling pain-free, it seems more likely than not that Bogut will give it a gotonight.
The NBA took a massive power shift Wednesday with the Clippers trading point guard Chris Paul to the Rockets for seven players, a 2018 first-round pick (protected Nos. 1-3) and $661,000.
Houston GM Daryl Morey is going all in on a mission to compete with the Warriors and he believes the Rockets are now there with the pairing of Paul and MVP runner-up James Harden.
"You know, it's a guards-based league. It's a weapons race in the NBA and you're either in the weapons race or on the sidelines," Morey said at the team's press conference, as captured by Mark Berman of Houston's FOX 26. "With James Harden in his prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams in this league."
Paul, who turned 32 in May, is a nine-time All-Star. He spent his last six seasons with the Clippers and averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 season in 61 games played.
This past season, Harden became a primary point guard for the first time under Mike D'Antoni's fast-paced offense and the bearded lefty excelled in his new position. Harden led the NBA with 11.2 assists per game while putting up 29.1 points per game.
Houston received guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, forwards Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell, plus the non-guaranteed deals of DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard and Kyle Wiltjer from Los Angeles.
The Rockets went 55-27 last season, four games ahead of the Clippers, but were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to the Spurs.
DANVILLE -- Everything the Warriors have said and done, as well as everything Stephen Curry has said, indicates there is no chance of a divorce, even though Curry becomes an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning.
Curry has pointed out numerous times that he plans to sign with the Warriors, implying that it would be pointless for other teams to pursue him on the open market.
And on Wednesday afternoon, Warriors president and general manager Bob Myers reiterated the team’s stance regarding the two-time MVP by expressing Curry would be a top priority.
“He’s got to be,” Myers said at Monte Vista High School, where he and Warriors forward Draymond Green was subjects of a news conference/pep rally in the wake of Myers being named Executive of the Year and Green being named Defensive Player of the Year.
Myers was careful not to slight other players the Warriors expect to re-sign, such as Kevin Durant, and those the team hopes to retain, notably Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
“Actually, we’ve got a lot of priorities,” Myers said. “But, certainly, touching all of them and making sure we do our job and make sure they know we want them is important,” Myers said. “But he knows how we feel. I think he’s happy. But he’s a huge priority.”
The Warriors are allowed to pay Curry about $200 million over the next five seasons, and CEO Joe Lacob has said he’s ready to do whatever it takes.