Warriors

Klay Thompson 'unlikely' to play for Warriors this season, Steve Kerr reveals

Klay Thompson 'unlikely' to play for Warriors this season, Steve Kerr reveals

Ever since Klay Thompson tore his left ACL four months ago, the Warriors guard has held out hope that he could return this season in time for a potential NBA playoff run.

His coach, however, isn't betting on that timeline.

"It's unlikely that he's going to play this year," Steve Kerr recently told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive interview that aired Tuesday in “NBA Season Tip-Off,” only on the MyTeams app. "So we have to understand that."

Thompson, who suffered the knee injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, had surgery July 2, and has said he hopes to play after the NBA All-Star break in February. Recent history, however, suggests that might not be possible.

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine sat out 11 months with a similar injury, and Atlanta Hawks forward Jabari Parker missed nearly a year. Kerr, who tore his ACL in college, believes Thompson will be on the same timeline as those players.

"You have to look at it realistically," the Warriors coach said. "I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it's a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.

“We've kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. ... April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.

"We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him, and when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better," Kerr added.

Thompson has been visible around the team in recent weeks. Following Sunday's practice, he stood along the baseline as players wrapped up individual workouts. Thompson hasn’t missed more than nine games in an NBA season, so the prolonged absence has been an adjustment for him.

"He's bored," Kerr said. "I mean, Klay loves basketball, he loves to play, so he's at the point in his rehab, three-plus months in, where his knee feels pretty good. He's not in pain. He can get out there and shoot around, but he's got to let it heal, and he can't run, he can't cut. So we'll see him in the weight room, in the training room, getting his work in.

“But I feel bad for him. You never feel part of it unless you're actually playing and with the guys, and he misses that."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Klay out]

Kerr and the Warriors find themselves in transition entering this season. With Thompson's absence, along Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala's departure and eight new roster additions, Kerr is adjusting to Golden State's new life in the NBA.

“It's very different," Kerr admitted. "There's a lot more teaching this year than there has been in the last five. Things that the last group would have known in their sleep, these young guys have never seen before, and so we are literally going back to the basics day in and day out."

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with "NBA Season Tip-Off," streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

NBA rumors: Warriors likely draft Anthony Edwards at No. 1 if no trade

NBA rumors: Warriors likely draft Anthony Edwards at No. 1 if no trade

The Warriors have not selected No. 1 overall in the NBA draft since 1995.

That year, they took big man Joe Smith out of Maryland.

What will they do if they win the NBA Draft Lottery this year?

Well, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

If the Warriors land the No. 1 pick in the draft, they’ll be open to trading it. But if Golden State doesn’t receive a worthy offer, it would likely take (Anthony) Edwards with the top selection, according to a league source.

Edwards -- who officially declared for the draft last week -- is considered the No. 1 prospect by ESPN and The Athletic.

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a freshman at Georgia. He shot 40 percent overall and 29.4 percent from deep (he went 3-for-25 his last three games).

Edwards -- who does not turn 19 years old until August -- was incredible in the second half of a game against Michigan State at the Maui Invitational in November, racking up 33 points and producing multiple highlight-reel plays.

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole wrote in a recent profile:

The Warriors have the requisite patience and proper environment for someone like Edwards to prosper. They know coaching is a crucial factor in maximizing Edwards’ stratospheric potential, and they realize another key factor is environment. With a nine-man staff under Steve Kerr and a culture of winning, they rank high in both areas.

The primary factor is talent, and Edwards has plenty of that. There was some inconsistency, typical of a freshman but also a product of the junk defenses thrown his way on a mediocre team.

[RELATEDKerr discusses Warriors' three options with high draft pick]

The lottery is scheduled for May 19, but it's widely anticipated the whole NBA calendar will be pushed back as the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

So you should expect to hear a bunch more draft rumors in the coming months.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled to take place May 19.

The 2020 NBA Draft is slated for June 25.

But those two events could be pushed back months as everything is up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warriors are all but guaranteed to land a top-five pick, and it's possible they end up with the No. 1 overall selection.

If you want Golden State to go with center James Wiseman or guard LaMelo Ball, you won't like the latest intel from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League.

As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team.”

Wiseman -- who dealt with eligibility issues at Memphis -- appeared in just three games for the Tigers this season.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers reveals one aspect of plan for roster]

Ball -- the younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball -- appeared in 13 games for the Illwarra Hawks in Australia's National Basketball League, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.

His season was cut short in late November because of a bone bruise in his foot.

Yours truly is not going to make any predictions on what the Warriors will do because it's too early in the process. There just are too many unknowns at this point.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram