Wesley Matthews

NBA free agency 2019: Ten shooters who can help Warriors next season

NBA free agency 2019: Ten shooters who can help Warriors next season

Immediately after the Warriors won Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry called Toronto's strategy "janky" after the Raptors used a box-and-1 to corral the star guard.

Now, weeks later — with free agents Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant out for the majority of next season, if not gone forever — the Warriors will need to fill out roster space with shooters to combat the “janky” strategy that other teams are sure to now employ on Curry.

However, with Golden State deep in the luxury tax, the team only will be able to sign players via the mid-level exception and minimum contracts. Luckily for the Warriors, that still leaves plenty of options to find a shooter who might keep defenses more honest.

Click to see 10 shooters who could help the Warriors next season

Examining long road Kevin Durant faces in recovery from Achilles injury

Examining long road Kevin Durant faces in recovery from Achilles injury

Kevin Durant revealed he had surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon Wednesday.

Now comes the hard part.

Durant faces a long road back in his recovery. Just how long is hard to say right now, but by looking back at the recovery times of other players with similar injuries, we can get a better idea of when he might next be able to play in an NBA game.

Sportsnet's Faizal Khamisa has done just that, compiling a list of prominent NBA stars that have torn their Achilles tendons and their respective recovery periods.

As you can see, there's a reason why an Achilles injury is considered to be one of the worst an NBA player can suffer. Of those five players on the list, the average recovery time was 280.6 days.

Durant's recovery clock started Wednesday. That average recovery period would have him returning to game action on March 19, 2020. For reference, the Warriors played the final 12 games of their 2018-19 regular-season schedule after March 19 this year.

So, yes, it's possible Durant could play in an NBA game next regular season. But, as we know, no two bodies are the same, and recovery times vary from individual to individual. Typically, the track record for players returning from Achilles injury has been better for smaller types, and less so for big men. 

Durant's current teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, ruptured his Achilles in January of 2018. Not only was his recovery the longest of the five players Khamisa listed, but he also clearly hasn't fully regained the form he had before the injury.

[RELATED: Kawhi offers KD advice over long Achilles rehab process]

Whether or not Durant is able to do so is up in the air, and will be for some time. We have no idea how his body will respond, nor do we know which team and doctors will be assisting in his recovery. His impending free agency looms over all of this.

The Warriors are certainly hoping to retain him, but more importantly, they just want to see him back on an NBA court in the not too distant future.

NBA rumors: Warriors hoping Wesley Matthews makes it to buyout market

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AP

NBA rumors: Warriors hoping Wesley Matthews makes it to buyout market

The NBA trade deadline is on Thursday, which means the rumor mill is abuzz.

Due to salary and asset constraints, it's unlikely the Warriors will be involved in any major trades this week -- at least directly, that is.

However, they may be in position to benefit from a trade that has already gone down.

The Mavericks and Knicks were involved in a trade last week that sent star big man Kristaps Porzingis from New York to Dallas for a package including center DeAndre Jordan and shooting guard Wesley Matthews.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Knicks have already begun canvassing the market for potential destinations to re-flip Matthews. But in the event New York is unable to trade Matthews, teams are lining up in hopes he makes it to the buyout market -- including Golden State.

Matthews -- as well as Jordan -- would make plenty of sense for the Warriors if either was bought out by the Knicks. But as NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole explained last week, Matthews would fill a greater need for Golden State, as the immediate success of Warriors and DeMarcus Cousins makes Jordan less of a necessity.

Not to mention, the Warriors never really replaced Patrick McCaw.

Playing in his 11th NBA season, Matthews, 32, averaged 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists on 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 44 games for the Mavericks before being traded to New York last week. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he has the necessary size to fit in the Warriors' switch-heavy defensive scheme.

In order to be eligible to play in the postseason, a player must be bought out by their incumbent team prior to Mar. 1. With over three weeks to go until that deadline, the Warriors have the luxury of seeing how the trade deadline shakes out before determining which course of action -- if any -- makes the most sense as they pursue a fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

[RELATED: Warriors, rivals feeling drama of NBA rumor mill]

Matthews has averaged 13.5 points per game in 32 career playoff contests, but he's never been on a team that made it past the conference semifinals. 

If Matthews does end up on the buyout market, and eventually on the Warriors, he'd have to feel pretty confident that would change in the near future.