The Warriors‘ hopes for becoming title contenders again depend on a full return to health by Klay Thompson, writes Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News. Management is hoping Thompson can return by Christmas Day after missing the last two seasons with a torn left ACL and then a torn right Achilles tendon.
“With a healthy Klay Thompson, I think we’re right there with everybody,” general manager Bob Myers said. “But I don’t know when, or how, I expect him to come back healthy. I don’t want to put any pressure on the date because it’s not going to be at the start of the season. It’s not going to be the first game.”
Thompson was among the best players in the league before the injuries hit, with five straight All-Star Game appearances and five straight trips to the NBA Finals. During an Instagram broadcast in June, he acknowledged the risks of trying to return too soon.
“I also have to factor in my left knee,” Thompson said, “because I don’t want to come back and be half myself.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Jonathan Kuminga is ready to pursue the NBA dream that drove him to leave the Congo at age 13, per Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Kuminga’s latest step was the Las Vegas Summer League, where he flashed some of the potential that caused the Warriors to scoop him up with the No. 7 pick. “I think he’s going to be one of the best two-way players from this draft class,” said Brian Shaw, who coached Kuminga with the G League Ignite last season. “He has all the tools you’re looking for, and he’s only 18.”
- Golden State has a roster spot left to fill, but Myers warns that the luxury tax implications of using the taxpayer mid-level exception could force the team to start the season with 14 players, relays Alex Didion of NBC Sports. “I don’t think we use it,” Myers said on a recent radio interview. “I think we tried, we put it out there for some players we thought were difference-makers. But it’s not wise, and I would almost protect (owner Joe Lacob) from himself if he said go spend it on anyone. It does cost us about $25 million to spend the $5 million, which again I laugh, I know listeners or fans don’t care about that part, but we have to.”
- In case you missed it, the Warriors are rumored to be one of the teams interested in free agent forward Paul Millsap, who has spent the past four seasons with the Nuggets.