Zaza Pachulia

NBA rumors: Warriors, Zaza Pachulia scouted Timberwolves against Kings

NBA rumors: Warriors, Zaza Pachulia scouted Timberwolves against Kings

All eyes are on the NBA trade deadline before Thursday at noon PT. And while the Warriors were busy beating the Washington Wizards on Monday night, Golden State had plenty of eyes in Sacramento. 

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Tuesday morning that Warriors assistant general manager Mike DunleavyJr. and consultant Zaza Pachulia were at Golden 1 Center for all four quarters of the Kings' 113-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The latter of the two teams playing Monday night in Sacramento is what makes this interesting. 

Despite having the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 15-34, the T-Wolves are doing anything they can to acquire Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell. But the Dubs hold the leverage in any trade talks, and haven't budged quite yet. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Monday night that the T-Wolves recently engaged in talks with the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks on a three-team trade that would have sent forward Robert Covington from Minnesota to Houston, center Clint Capela from Houston to Atlanta, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round pick to Minnesota via Atlanta.

With that framework set up, Minnesota reportedly offered their own 2020 first-round pick along with the Nets' pick to the Warriors in exchange for Russell. The Warriors responded with two letters and one word: "No." 

But the T-Wolves won't give up that easily. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday morning that Minnesota still is engaged in ways to acquire draft assets to possibly dangle in a D-Lo trade. Woj says there "still remains a gulf to overcome" in order for Russell to go from San Francisco to Minnesota. 

[RELATED: Breaking down Dubs' three best assets before trade deadline]

The simple fact is, there is no reason to rush a Russell trade for the Warriors. The former All-Star is only 23 years old and is averaging a career-high 23.8 points per game while shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. 

Golden State likely won't let Russell go right now unless they get a deal they can't refuse. With Zaza and Duleavy Jr. assigned to Sacramento on Monday night, though, it's clear the Warriors aren't wasting any time before Thursday's deadline.

Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Warriors heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!

LeBron James shouts out Klay Thompson for college jersey retirement

LeBron James shouts out Klay Thompson for college jersey retirement

It'll never get old seeing the moments when game recognizes game. Especially when part of that game belongs to LeBron James.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson had an emotional day at his alma mater when his No.1 jersey was retired by Washington State on Saturday.

King James took to social media to give his sign of respect to Klay on the honor:

When one of the best recognizes you, it means something.

Over the years, the two have tipped their caps to one another. LeBron even jokingly (maybe not) tried to recruit Klay after he scored 43 points in a game right before Klay coincidentally would become a free agent.

Klay will be a Warrior for a long time after signing a max-contract with the team, so those hopes are lost, but it's pretty obvious there are no hard feelings there.

He wasn't the only one to show love for Klay.

[RELATED: Klay emotional about retirement ceremony]

Steph Curry was there acting like a proud papa for his longtime teammate as he watched Klay give his speech. And, of course, no Klay event is complete without some love from former Dub Zaza Pachulia. 

Klay had a lot of support on a very important day.

Why Klay Thompson's recent rehab session amazes 'coach' Zaza Pachulia

Why Klay Thompson's recent rehab session amazes 'coach' Zaza Pachulia

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though the Warriors have yet to issue a progress report regarding Klay Thompson’s recovery from knee surgery, one of his former teammates not only is monitoring the process but also offering assistance.

Zaza Pachulia, who retired last summer and now works in the team’s front office, has provided the first of what he hopes will be several installments of the "Klay and Zaza Show."

Pachulia has the easier role. He does the passing and encouraging, while Thompson does the shooting and sweating. The first installment was posted on Pachulia’s Instagram account.

“Oh my God, he was better than I thought he would be,” Pachulia said of Thompson on Tuesday. “He finished the workout with 10-out-of-10 corner 3s. I told him, ‘I guess that’s how it is with shooters.’ He told me it’s like riding a bike.”

Thompson underwent ACL surgery on his right knee on July 2. Such surgeries generally come with a timeline between eight and 10 months. Thompson has been doing light individual drills since November, and in recent weeks has gone without a knee brace.

The first session came last Saturday while the Warriors hosted the Dallas Mavericks at Chase Center. When Golden State took the floor for the second half, Thompson and Pachulia headed for the team’s practice court in another part of the building.

“He said he wanted to do some shooting, so I offered to help,” Pachulia said. “I did the rebounding and passing. We just started, and it felt good to touch the ball.”

Pachulia enjoyed it enough that he also reached out to Steph Curry, who is sidelined while recovering from surgery on his left hand. An update on his progress is expected in February.

“I told Klay and Steph the same thing, to please call me whenever you’re working out,” Pachulia said. “It’s different when you work out with the young guys, and it’s OK, but there is so much more when you work out with those guys because I have great memories with them.”

Such sessions allow Pachulia to assuage his pangs for basketball while also giving his former teammates what he believes are game-like conditions devoted to specific areas. Baseline pick-and-roll. High pick-and-roll. It can only help that both Thompson and Curry became familiar with Pachulia during championship seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Pachulia pointed out that one thing in particular that reveals the cultural difference between his home continent of Europe -- he’s a native of the Republic of Georgia -- and the United States.

“I was telling Klay that if he was in Europe, he would be playing by now,” he said. “After ACL surgery over there, you’re back on the court in six months.”

That, Pachulia explained, is because contracts in Europe tend to be short and management routinely pressures players to return as early as possible -- even if not 100 percent healthy.

“They don’t care about you,” Pachulia said. “They don’t look at the players in the long term. They worry only about short term.”

[RELATED: What we learned as Warriors end 2019 with loss to Spurs]

Pachulia offered no timelines; it’s beyond the confines of his purview.

If Thompson –- or Curry, for that matter –- wants to record future installments via Zaza, there is little time to waste. Beginning in late January, Pachulia will be attending sports management classes at Stanford.