Warriors sign Thompson, Tyler

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Warriors sign Thompson, Tyler

The Warriors signed their top picks in the 2011 NBA Draft to contracts Tuesday, announcing that they had agreed to terms with Klay Thompson and Jeremy Tyler.

Terms were not announced.

Following the signings, Thompson and Tyler participated in their first practice for the Warriors.
The Warriors had been holding off on signing Thompson and Tyler in order to sign DeAndre Jordan to an offer sheet. By not signing the two rookies, the Warriors were able to maximize a deal for Jordan.

Nevertheless, the Clippers matched the Warriors offer.
Clearly, the Warriors are hoping Thompson can help sooner rather than later. At Mondays media day, owner Joe Lacob predicted that Thompson might very well win the NBAs Rookie of the Year award. When Thompson was told of Lacobs statements later, he acknowledged that was his individual goal.

At present, second-round pick Charles Jenkins appears to be the first guard off the bench, but most likely at the point guard position. Thompson will likely get an opportunity for minutes early on, backing up Monta Ellis at off guard and Dorell Wright at small forward.

As for Tyler, it remains to be seen where he fits in. New coach Mark Jackson indicated months back that Tyler would have an opportunity to get some minutes in the frontcourt, but that might be a stretch at this point.

Andris Biedrins, newly-signed Kwame Brown, David Lee, Ekpe Udoh and Lou Amundson are already on the roster and its tough to see where Tyler will now carve out playing time.

Its possible that Tyler could spend part of the season playing for the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors D-League affiliate.

The team also signed four free agents -- forwardcenter Julian Khazzouh, guards Tommy Mitchell and Tim Pickett, as well as free agent forward Tommy Smith.

Thompson, 21, was the 11th overall pick after three standout seasons at Washington State. The two-time all-conference pick appeared in 98 games during his three-year career, averaging 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.4 minutes per contest. Last season, the 6-foot-7 guard averaged 21.6 points per game, which led the Pac-10 and ranked 11th in the nation.

Tyler, 20, was selected with the 39th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by Charlotte then acquired by the Warriors for cash considerations. He played the 2010-11 season with the Tokyo Apache of the Basketball Japan League, averaging 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 33 games. In 2009-10 he appeared in 10 games with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli League after leaving high school following his junior year to play professionally overseas.

Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated again in 7-10 days

Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated again in 7-10 days

Though Kevin Durant will miss at least five more games, there remains a possibility he could return to the Warriors lineup before the end of the regular season, according to an update provided by the team on Wednesday.

The team’s leading scorer, Durant has missed the last 15 games after sustaining a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise to his left knee on Feb. 28 at Washington. After several days with the knee immobilized, he has spent the past two weeks participating in individual workouts.

“Kevin has made very good progress since suffering the injury four weeks ago in Washington,” began a statement issued by the team. “He has not experienced any setbacks to date and has progressed as well as could be expected. At this point, he is being incorporated into non-contact basketball drills – shooting, running and jumping – and the plan is to intensify his level of movement over the next several days, which will include more explosive cutting and lateral maneuvers.”

Durant has been engaging in shooting and dribbling drills, full-sprint activity and is dunking with ease. The 6-foot-9 forward traveled with the Warriors last week to Oklahoma City and Dallas and is with the team on its current trip to Houston and San Antonio.

“His eventual return to contact drills and practice will be predicated upon his progress to the increased intensity of his workouts, and a return to game action prior to the end of the regular season remains a possibility,” according to the statement. “He will be re-evaluated again in the next 7-10 days.”

The Warriors have eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, with the last three at home, beginning with the New Orleans Pelicans on April 8.

The playoffs begin on April 15.

 

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Programming note: Warriors-Spurs coverage starts tonight at 5:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

While the San Antonio Spurs are chasing the Warriors this season, as was the case in each of the past two seasons, it’s quite the opposite for the coaches.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is trying to reach the same level as his primary coaching mentor, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs, whom Kerr admires to no end.

Eight games shy of three seasons into his career, Kerr is off to a start far more impressive than Popovich or anyone else ever to preside over an NBA sideline.

When the Warriors and Spurs tip off Wednesday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Kerr will have 200 victories on his resume. Popovich owns 1,146 wins, all with the Spurs. It’s inconceivable that Kerr would coach long enough to achieve 1,000 wins, much less 1,146 and counting.

Kerr, 51, likely won’t compile 20 consecutive winning seasons, as Popovich has. And Popovich’s ongoing record of wins with one franchise may never be surpassed.

But much of what Popovich, 68, has done is reachable, if not already accomplished, by Kerr.

Kerr’s 67-15 record in his first season (2014-15) is the best ever for a rookie coach.

Kerr reached 200 in 238 games, faster than any coach in any of the four major sports in the United States. Popovich didn’t win No. 200 until his 304th game.

Popovich won an NBA championship in his second full season; Kerr did it in his first.

Pop won four titles in his first 10 seasons; Kerr has eight seasons to add three more.

Pop has reached the 60-win mark five times in 20 full seasons; Kerr has hit that level in each of his first three.

Under Kerr, albeit with considerable help from interim head coach Luke Walton, the Warriors in 2015-16 set a league record with 73 wins. The high for the Spurs under Pop is 67, reached last season.

Kerr’s win percentage: .840 (200-38). Pop’s win percentage: .696 (1,146-501).

Both coaches have, of course, benefitted from supremely talented rosters.

The Spurs under Popovich have had as core players one player, David Robinson, in the Hall of Fame and three more (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker) certain to get the call. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard are on that path.

Kerr came to a roster with Stephen Curry, who has since polished his Hall of Fame credentials. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have the goods for the honor. Kevin Durant punched his ticket in Oklahoma City, and now he’s a Warrior.

“I’m lucky,” Kerr said after win No. 200 Tuesday night. “Coaching is all about the guys you coach; Are they coachable? Are they talented? And the answer to that is an emphatic yes. These guys are amazing and I’m really lucky to be able to coach them.”

In short, Kerr’s reaction is precisely as Popovich’s is whenever he wins a game or an award or a championship.

The student has learned well from the teacher, even if he fails to match the old man’s enduring excellence.