Warriors

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

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AP

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

There is a single reason teams keep sniffing out the availability of Klay Thompson, and it’s far more easily understood than the myriad reasons the Warriors keep telling them no.

No fewer than four teams have either reached out or considered reaching out, the latest being revealed as the detested Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors, of course, declined them, perhaps after general manager Bob Myers put Cavs GM Koby Altman on speakerphone so everybody at Warriors HQ could double over with team-building laughter.

The Cavs got the same answer as was previously heard by the Pacers and the Timberwolves, and maybe even the Celtics, whose interest was rumored though never actually substantiated.

All four teams, though, along with maybe few others, all reached the same conclusion. They looked at the Warriors, studied their prime core, and concluded that Thompson was the most available member.

Clearly more available than Stephen Curry, who is the face of the franchise.

Likely more available than Draymond Green, whose two-way versatility and temperament are vital to the grand ambitions of the Warriors.

And infinitely more available than Kevin Durant, who arrived two years after Minnesota shot its shot -- by dangling Kevin Love -- and evolved into their most impressive overall player.

So it’s Thompson who gets his tires kicked. He’s 27 years old, has two years remaining on his contract and, most germane, seems to be the least emotionally invested star in the organization. That is may not be true, but it’s an easy conclusion based on appearances and the misguided thought that the Warriors don’t value him as much as they do the others.

Wrong.

“It's really cool,” Thompson said Wednesday, referring to being pursued and prized. “It shows the Warriors believe in me and these other teams want me to be a part of their success. So I appreciate it. I've been in trade rumors forever. Everyone has. Except for maybe LeBron James, Steph — well, even Steph early in his career.”

Any team that asks about Thompson is aware that the Thompson-Love deal gained considerable traction in 2014 before it was vetoed by then-adviser Jerry West and newly hired head coach Steve Kerr.

If the Warriors were thinking about it then, why not later?

They have their reasons, beginning with the fact they’ve experienced more success over the past three seasons than at any time in franchise history, winning two championships in three seasons and becoming a regular in the NBA Finals. Why even consider breaking the squad that so clearly is the cream of the NBA?

Another reason is that the Warriors have come to fully understand Thompson’s role in their competitive prosperity. He’s a gunslinger that manages to be highly productive without spending much time with the ball, and his fabulous defense makes that end of the court so much easier for Curry. The Thompson-Curry backcourt is the best in the league and already in the discussion for the best ever.

There is another component that is rather understated. Thompson is the ultimate zero-maintenance All-Star. In a locker room of varied personalities, some loud, nearly all opinionated, he’s like a breeze that is cool enough be felt yet never so much it feels imposing.

The Warriors have come to appreciate Thompson being the closest thing to a wind-up All-Star in a league where that is exceedingly rare. Give him a jersey, a ball and some shoes and let him go.

So, no, he’s not leaving anytime soon. The only way he goes before he becomes a free agent in 2019 -- at which time he’s likely to take a peep around the NBA -- is if the Warriors somehow take a tumble in the standings or try to low-ball him.

Until then, teams may continue to ask. They have to as a strategy to improve themselves while diminishing the league’s powerhouse. Understanding this, the Warriors will take the calls and appreciate the humor of it all.

Steph Curry likes tweet that calls out TV personality

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USATI

Steph Curry likes tweet that calls out TV personality

It was a rough couple of days for Kevin Durant.

As the 2017 Finals MVP said himself: "All the jokes – bring ‘em. I deserve it."

One such joke came from Fox Sports 1's Nick Wright:

A couple hours later, an NBA writer chimed in:

At some point thereafter, Steph Curry "liked" this tweet.

This could be Curry simply coming to Durant's defense.

It also could be Curry simply enjoying the fact that Wright is getting called out for wrong claims/predictions.

It could be both.

In case you missed some of Wright's past declarations:

From Jan. 8 through April 8 (39 games), Iguodala averaged 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals, while shooting over 58 percent from the field and over 41 percent from deep.

In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, he scored 20 points in what was his best performance of the playoffs.

At least he admitted it:

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

Warriors announce roster, schedule for 2017 training camp

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AP

Warriors announce roster, schedule for 2017 training camp

The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will hold their 2017 Training Camp, fueled by Gatorade, at the Rakuten Performance Center—the team’s newly named Practice Facility in Downtown Oakland—beginning Saturday, September 23, the team announced on Thursday. 

The team also announced the signing of free agent guards Antonius Cleveland, Michael Gbinije (ben-ih-jhay) and Alex Hamilton and free agent forward Georges Niang (George KNEE-yang). 

Cleveland, 22, went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Southeast Missouri State, where he averaged 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.31 steals and 28.8 minutes in 121 career games. As a senior in 2016-17, he averaged a career-high 16.6 points while hitting career bests of 54.3 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three-point range.

Gbinije, 25, appeared in nine games with the Detroit Pistons last season, scoring four points in 32 minutes. Originally selected by the Pistons with the 49th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, Gbinije averaged 12.0 points, and 4.3 rebounds in 35.0 minutes over 16 games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League. Gbinije, who spent his freshman season at Duke before playing three seasons at Syracuse University, helped the Orange to a Final Four appearance as a senior in 2015-16 after averaging career marks of 17.5 points and 4.3 assists in 37.9 minutes over 37 games. 

Hamilton, 23, spent the 2016-17 season with Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 23.4 minutes over 43 games. Prior to joining Santa Cruz, Hamilton played collegiately for four seasons at Louisiana Tech, where he averaged 19.9 points, 6.2 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.97 steals in 33 games as a senior in 2015-16, earning Conference USA Player of the Year honors.

Niang, 24, appeared in 23 games for the Indiana Pacers in 2016-17, totaling 21 points and 17 rebounds in 93 minutes of action. Originally selected by the Pacers with the 50th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Niang averaged 19.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 33.0 minutes over six games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League last season. Niang played collegiately for four seasons at Iowa State University, where he earned the 2016 Karl Malone Award, given to the nation’s best power forward, after averaging 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior in 2015-16.

Following seven days of practice, the Warriors will open their preseason schedule at Oracle Arena on Saturday, September 30, against the Denver Nuggets before traveling to China for a pair of preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the NBA Global Games.

The roster:

Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
Draymond Green
Klay Thompson
Andre Iguodala
Shaun Livingston
Zaza Pachulia
JaVale McGee
David West
Nick Young
Omri Casspi
Patrick McCaw
Damian Jones
Kevon Looney
Jordan Bell
Chris Boucher (two-way contract)
Georges Niang
Antonius Cleveland
Alex Hamilton
Michael Gbinije

Golden State Warriors media services