Luka Doncic had private workout with Steph Curry for one main reason


Luka Doncic had private workout with Steph Curry for one main reason

Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Wizards game at 5 p.m. PT streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On June 21, 2018, Luka Doncic was selected with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. About two months later, he flew to the Bay Area for a private workout with Steph Curry.

Why did the clear front-runner for Rookie of the Year want to get in the gym with the only unanimous MVP in NBA history?

“For me, I just wanted him to be exposed to the excellence of Steph,” Bill Duffy, Doncic's agent, told Tom Haberstroh of NBCSports.com. “Not just Steph’s skill, but appreciating the work that goes into it."

Doncic -- who will turn 20 years old on Feb. 28 -- is averaging 19.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the Mavericks, while shooting 35.6 percent from deep.

In three career games against the Warriors, he is averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while making nearly 42 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Draymond Green is a big believer, as he was effusive in his praise of Doncic following Golden State's win over Dallas on Dec. 22:

During Doncic's secret workout with Curry, Brandon Payne -- Curry's personal trainer -- didn't hold back when it came to critiquing Doncic.

Even Curry offered some wisdom at times and played the role of mentor. 

“I wanted to show him that someone at that level can take instruction, too, be corrected,” Duffy told NBCSports.com. “Brandon is up here telling Steph, do this, don’t do that, correcting him.

"I think someone like Luka, was like, ‘Woah -- Steph is top 2-3 players in basketball and he has someone pushing him to be the best he can be?’ To be exposed to that was special.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell is rapidly approaching a date some NBA observers have circled since the Warriors acquired him this summer.

Golden State can trade Russell as soon as Sunday, Dec. 15, and the 23-year-old has been the source of trade speculation during his time in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday, citing sources that the Minnesota Timberwolves "remain interested in Russell" and that the guard "seems to be realistic in understanding that he may not be long for the Warriors once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return to full health."

Russell is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game this season to go with 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, serving as the top offensive option in the absence of his All-Star teammates. He knew he wouldn't play much with Thompson this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but Curry's broken hand threw a wrench into the Warriors' -- and thus Russell's -- prospects this season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised how Russell has handled the rumors surrounding him. 

"Money doesn't buy peace of mind," Kerr said Friday morning (H/T San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). "It doesn't buy a sense of belonging, a sense of, 'Alright, this is my team.' If there's speculation that you're going to be traded all the time, I don't care how much money you make, I don't care who you are. That's tough. That's no fun to deal with, and this season has been nowhere close to what D'Angelo thought it would be when he first signed with us.

"There's no Steph. We're struggling to win games. He's had his own injuries, and we're throwing all kinds of different lineups out there based on the other injuries we've faced." 

Russell has played in just 15 of the Warriors' 27 games this season, playing on a team that looks far more like the Los Angeles Lakers of his first two seasons than the playoff-contending Brooklyn Nets a year ago -- let alone the reigning Western Conference champion Warriors. 

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Kerr, who entered this season with the highest winning percentage in NBA history (.785), is as aware of Golden State's dramatically different reality as anyone. He said it has only brought out the best in Russell. 

"So given all that, he's played really well, and he's been a great teammate and he's doing everything he needs to do to solidify his position here," Kerr continued. "But this is the NBA here, and we never know what's coming, what's happening. So, it's a difficult position to be in in general, but for him in particular it's strange set of circumstances and he's handling it really well." 

Whether or not the Warriors trade Russell, it's clear Kerr holds him in high regard.

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Warriors two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. 

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

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Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display.

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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