Andre Iguodala confident Klay Thompson will be better than pre-ACL tear

Andre Iguodala confident Klay Thompson will be better than pre-ACL tear

Andre Iguodala wrote a book.

"The Sixth Man" will be available starting Tuesday, June 25, and it needs to be added to your summer reading list.

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP promoted the book Friday morning during an appearance on ESPN's "First Take," and of course he stuck around to discuss a plethora of topics related to the Warriors and the NBA.

Iguodala was asked if he's concerned about Klay Thompson's ability to return to full strength following his ACL tear. 

"He's a tough guy," Iguodala said. "He hasn't missed many games at all. He's had broken fingers, twisted ankles and he's played through all types of things.

"His hamstring was strained. Most guys wouldn't have been back in the Finals that way he was able to and still give us big numbers.

"We have a great training staff. My guy Rick [Celebrini]. I call him Rick Flair. He's the ACL specialist. So he'll have him ready. He'll be even better than he was before. So I'm really confident in that."

Klay tore the ACL in his left knee last Thursday during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. On Wednesday, Golden State GM Bob Myers said that the five-time All-Star has not yet undergone surgery to repair the ligament.

Klay is set to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. PT and you never know what could happen. But it will be shocking if he doesn't come back to the Warriors.

Iguodala certainly is of the mindset that the two-time All-NBA selection will be re-signing with the Dubs:

If Klay were to make his season debut right after the All-Star break, that would mean he returned to game action about eight months after sustaining the injury.

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That definitely would be on the early end of the rehab timetable. But as Iguodala said, the 29-year-old is a tough guy and a fast healer:

Good luck with the recovery, Klay.

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2020 NBA MVP odds: Warriors star Steph Curry given second-best chance

2020 NBA MVP odds: Warriors star Steph Curry given second-best chance

Finding yourself in a group with former NBA superstars like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Moses Malone is something every basketball player would dream of growing up. According to Caesars Palace, Steph Curry has very good odds to do just that as he looks to become a three-time NBA MVP winner, putting him in rarified air along with Magic, Bird, and Malone.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won the award this past season, remains the betting favorite to hoist the Maurice Podoloff trophy next June with +300 odds. 

Rockets guard James Harden has been in the top three of MVP voting in each of the past three seasons and sits just behind Curry with a +600 chance.

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If any Bay Area fans are in Las Vegas or near a sportsbook between now and the start of the NBA regular season in October, betting on Curry might be the best decision you make all weekend with these odds.

Warriors could feel Kevin Durant's loss more on defense than offense

Warriors could feel Kevin Durant's loss more on defense than offense

Much has been made of the offensive firepower that has departed the Warriors since they lost to the Raptors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant has taken his talents to Brooklyn. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston -- two critical members of Golden State's dynasty -- are no longer with the team. Klay Thompson, coming off a torn ACL, is expected to miss a large chunk of next season.

And yet, those collective departures could potentially have a more drastic effect on the Warriors' defense.

Yes, for the last several years, the Dubs have been renowned for their explosive offense, but they've always been a good-to-great defensive team under Steve Kerr. A lot of that is due to players like Draymond Green, but there's reason to believe Golden State's defense could take a step or two back next season.

Using FiveThirtyEight's new DRAYMOND rating system, the Warriors have lost three of their six best defenders from last season according to Bleacher Report's Will Gottlieb -- and that doesn't include Thompson, who will be out a while.

In losing Durant, Iguodala and Livingston, FiveThirtyEight projects the Warriors will lose 1.2 points per 100 possessions of defensive value based on the team's cumulative scoring defense alone. It's worth noting, however, that in order to qualify for that metric, a player must have played at least 10,0000 possessions over the last six seasons combined. So, the Warriors' 2019-20 DRAYMOND rating doesn't factor in Golden State newcomer Glenn Robinson III, nor any of the Warriors' 2019 draft picks.

As such, it's possible the dropoff might not be as severe as FiveThirtyEight projects, assuming those newcomers prove to be solid defensive players. Then again, it could also go the other way if they prove to be poor defenders. One must also consider the possibility that the seven veterans that are included in Golden State's 2019-20 DRAYMOND projection outperform their individual projections.

For instance, Draymond Green's career DRAYMOND rating of plus-3.2 points per 100 possessions is considerably better than his 2018-19 DRAYMOND rating of plus-1.76. The 2019-20 projection assumes Green will perform at an identical defensive level, even though it's reasonable to assume he'll outperform it, based on both track record and necessity.

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If the Warriors are going to get back to the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season, it will require certain individuals to step up defensively. Green will lead the charge, no doubt, and should enter next season as one of the front-runners for Defensive Player of the Year. But it's got to be a group effort, or else replacing Durant, Iguodala and Livingston's combined 35.7 points per game won't be the biggest of Golden State's problems.