Warriors

Danny Green reveals what Warriors players said after Klay Thompson injury

Danny Green reveals what Warriors players said after Klay Thompson injury

With a little over 2 minutes and 22 seconds left in the third quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Klay Thompson went up for a dunk in transition.

Raptors guard Danny Green met Klay at the rim and was called for a foul. The Warriors' shooting guard landed awkwardly on his left leg and remained on the ground in a lot of pain.

You know how the story ends -- a couple of hours after Golden State lost, we learned that Thompson tore his left ACL.

It was not a dirty play whatsoever by Green. Sometimes, bad things just happen.

On Sunday, Green discussed the unfortunate situation with media members in Toronto:

"He was going up for a dunk and he can jump. I thought he was gonna go up with one hand ... he went up with two hands and I think it's a little easier for me to get to the ball with him going up with two hands. It's hard to find the ball with one hand.

"I thought it was pretty clean. They called a foul ... I wasn't sure what happened and I just saw him grab his knee. You never know serious it is with him because he just walks through and plays through anything. The guy came back on the court like it was nothing with a torn ACL and shot his free throws.

"The rest of his guys, they were making sure that I didn't take it the wrong way or feel too bad or guilty about it. It was a clean play.

"They were like, 'We know you're not dirty.' Draymond [Green], Iggy [Andre Iguodala] they were like, 'Yeah, you went up for the ball. He just came down funny. It's not your fault. Don't even worry about it.'

"And I wanted to check on him at the foul line. He's like, 'I know you didn't do it purposely.'"

"I didn't know the severity of it until after the game ... I saw [Draymond] in the hallway after and he said it's an ACL and I was like 'Ahhh, sh--.' It's gonna be a long summer for not just him but their team.

"You never want to see those guys go down that way. They're special players and you don't want to see their careers changed, or be hindered or be over because of certain types of plays or injuries -- especially the ones you're involved in."

[RELATEDDraymond denies report that he visited Durant in New York]

Danny Green -- who will turn 32 years old on June 22 -- just finished a 4-year, $40 million contract with the Raptors and is about to become an unrestricted free agent.

Although the Warriors are on good terms with Green and could certainly use his shooting in Klay's absence, the most the team could offer him next season is about $5.7 million. So in all likelihood, he'll look for more money elsewhere.

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Why this ESPN analyst thinks Warriors could be 'terrifying' next year

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Why this ESPN analyst thinks Warriors could be 'terrifying' next year

The Warriors will enter the 2019-20 NBA season in unfamiliar territory.

For one, they won't enter the season as title favorites for the first time since lifting the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2015 after significant roster turnover headlined by Kevin Durant's departure in free agency. For another, they will begin the campaign without star guard Klay Thompson in the opening-night lineup for the first time since 2010 as he recovers from a torn ACL. 

But that isn't enough to write off Golden State as an NBA title contender, according to ESPN's Kirk Goldsberry. 

"I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd be all over this bet," Goldsberry wrote in a Friday column, referring to the Warriors opening the season as +1,400 championship favorites according to Caesar's Palace. "Why? Call me crazy, but if Klay Thompson returns to action by March or April, and the Warriors are in the playoffs, they're terrifying."

Placing them in his third tier of championship contenders, Goldsberry noted that the Warriors' experience could give them an edge over other title contenders. He also proposed that sign-and-trade acquisition D'Angelo Russell could "take another leap" under head coach Steve Kerr. Russell, who was an All-Star last season, doesn't have the same defensive upside as Thompson, but gives Golden State another credible scoring threat while one half of the Splash Brothers sits on the sidelines. 

[RELATED: Why Mychal Thompson has MVP expectations for Steph]

That defensive drop-off is what concerns Goldsberry the most, especially with Thompson set to miss so much of the season while Durant and Andre Iguodala no longer are playing in the Bay. The Warriors finished outside of the top 10 in defensive rating in each of the last two seasons despite the presence of all three players on the roster. As NBC Sports Bay Area's Grant Liffmann observed earlier this week, those absences leave the Warriors with a lot of question marks on the defensive end of the court. 

The best-case scenarios for the Warriors next season involve a lot of "ifs." If Russell can effectively fill in for Thompson and if Thompson can return healthy and if the Warriors figure out their defense, then Golden State could be a force in the postseason. The Warriors will have 82 games to figure it all out, but they are still a team few would want to face if and when they do. 

Why Mychal Thompson thinks Steph Curry will make 500 3-pointers this year

Why Mychal Thompson thinks Steph Curry will make 500 3-pointers this year

The Warriors' roster turnover this summer has been well-documented, but Mychal Thompson things it will bring out the best in Steph Curry next season.

Curry will have to adjust to life without Kevin Durant next season, after the star signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. The two-time MVP also will miss Klay Thompson -- Mychal's son -- for much of the campaign as the Splash Brother recovers from a torn ACL. Because of that, the elder Thompson thinks Curry has the potential for a record-breaking season in 2019-20.

"Now, they're not going to be as good as they were last year -- and by the way, I predict Steph is going to have 500 3s this year without having to share the ball that much back in the backcourt with Klay," Mychal said Friday on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "So he's going to come back to his MVP form we saw two years ago."

Curry set the NBA's single-season record with 402 made 3-pointers en route to the first unanimous MVP in league history in 2015-16. He did so leading a historic Warriors team that went 73-9, and Klay finished second on Golden State that season with 276 made 3-pointers. 

Klay made 241 -- and attempted 599 -- triples last year, while Curry made 354 and attempted 810. Assuming Thompson returns after the All-Star break, there could be enough touches for Curry to shatter his own record. However, summer acquisition D'Angelo Russell made just seven fewer 3-pointers than Thompson last season. He probably will take fewer shots as the No. 2 option behind Curry to start the season, but Russell's presence probably lowers Curry's record-setting ceiling. 

[RELATED: Steph comments on learning about KD's decision on plane]

Curry unquestionably will have to carry a bigger load for as long as Klay's out next season. But when his son returns, Mychal thinks the Warriors will find themselves on the same level as other Western Conference contenders. 

"[Draymond Green] is motivated to have a great year because his contract year is coming up," the elder Thompson continued.  "So I think [Curry and Green] -- and with the addition of D'Angelo Russell and the other role players that they've signed -- I think they'll be right in the mix. Somewhere between a five [or] six seed until Klay comes back 100 percent, and then they'll be ready to make their move."