Warriors

Time to raise a red flag? Kerr's tone on Draymond's injury changes

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AP

Time to raise a red flag? Kerr's tone on Draymond's injury changes

OAKLAND -- When a defending NBA champion goes without an All-Star for a game or three in the first half of the season, it’s not necessarily significant.

When it extends beyond a week without any discernable timetable for his return, it’s time to raise the red flag.

That’s where the Warriors are with Draymond Green and his ailing right shoulder. Something is wrong and there has been no interpretation, much less an expressed diagnosis.

Green’s absence Monday night in Los Angeles, where the Warriors face the Lakers, will be the third in a row and fifth in the last six for the starting power forward. Unlike center Zaza Pachulia, who also has missed the last three games, Green has not participated in any basketball activities while sidelined.

If Green can’t take the court, in any way, that’s cause for concern. He lives to play the game.

“Draymond’s not happy. I can tell you that,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. “He’s happiest when he’s on the floor, hair on fire, screaming at everybody and competing. It’s been hard on him.

“But Draymond also knows that this is the smart approach. So he’s not complaining. But I wouldn’t call him happy, either.”

All of which explains why when discussing Green’s condition with the Warriors, the tone in recent days has shifted from relative unconcern to apparent apprehension.

“It just got sore, probably wear and tear,” Kerr said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t spend any time worrying about it. When he’s ready, he’s ready. He’ll be all right. I’m sure of that.”

Though the mystery around Green’s shoulder woes would seem to merit an MRI test, none has been scheduled, according to Kerr, who described Green’s status as “day to day.”

Meanwhile, with Green and Pachulia out, the Warriors are wading knee-deep in contingencies.

Rookie Jordan Bell and veteran Omri Casspi have started the last two games and filled the majority the minutes that normally would go to Pachulia and Green. Kevon Looney can fill in at center. The Warriors on Sunday activated center Damian Jones from G-League Santa Cruz, and he will be available against the Lakers.

The injury issues and contingencies don’t end there. With starting point guard Stephen Curry already out -- he’s scheduled for reevaluation Tuesday -- primary backup Shaun Livingston will be sidelined, too, with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

“It’s got to be as beaten up as we’ve ever been since I’ve been here,” Kerr said. “I don’t remember having this many guys out, particularly starters. It’s all part of it and we’ve handled it really well. It’s created some opportunities for other guys.”

Though the Warriors are comfortable running their offense through several available players, including Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant, the bulk of the point guard minutes will go to second-year guard Pat McCaw and Quinn Cook, who is in his third season bouncing between the G-League and the NBA.

Cook is on a two-way contract with the Warriors, which means he can spend up 45 days in the NBA before the team has to decide whether to offer a standard contract.

“The way the season is going, we’ll probably use all 45 of his days by the end of the year,” Kerr said.

Though half the regular rotation will be out of action, there is some good news for the Warriors: guard Nick Young, who has participated in the last two practices, is expected to clear the NBA’s concussion protocol and be available to face his former team at Staples Center.

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

With the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Warriors selected Jacob Evans.

"When our pick was up, it was clear it was him," Bob Myers told reporters on Thursday night. "There was no debate as far as who we were taking. When it got to us, he was the guy without hesitation."

You could say that the Warriors are lucky to have ended up with Evans.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

The front office nearly executed a trade to ensure they got the Cincinnati product.

"We had a number of guys who we were really interested in, but I think as the draft started to continue to go on, it became pretty apparent to us that a bunch of the other guys that we liked were not going to be there," assistant GM Kirk Lacob said on 95.7 The Game on Friday morning. "We actually at one point tried to trade up to get Jacob -- we were getting a little worried that he wasn't gonna get there -- but we were really happy that he ended up with us."

Golden State also tried to buy a pick early in the second round, but couldn't strike a deal.

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

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

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AP

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

OAKLAND -- Within hours of adding a draft pick, the Warriors were making another move in their summer of roster tweaking, having decided to waive two-way big man Chris Boucher.

There will be several other moves in the coming weeks as the defending champs seek an infusion of youth for next season.

The dismissal of Boucher on Friday opens up both two-way slots for next season, in addition to four to six additional roster spots that could be available.

The Warriors definitely intend to fill both slots. The two-way designation was implemented last season to give teams more roster flexibility. Two-way players are assigned to G-League teams and are limited to a maximum 45 days in the NBA.

“We’re still learning about the position,” general manager Bob Myers said of the two-way designation. “What’s the best way to utilize it? We learned that for our team, we might need more guys that can step in and less development. But that’s what we have to figure out.”

Boucher, 25 and coming off major knee surgery, was signed last June as a development project. The team did not sign another two-way player until October, when it added guard Quinn Cook, who shined in the G-League and eventually earned a standard NBA contract.

Though the Warriors failed in their attempts to purchase a second-round pick in the draft Thursday night -- first-round choice Jacob Evans III, a wing from Cincinnati, was their total haul -- the team continues to actively pursue free agents that may be available for Summer League play next month.

Oakland University guard Kendrick Nunn has, according to multiple sources, agreed to a partially guaranteed deal. He averaged 25.9 points per game last season, ranking behind only NCAA scoring leader Trae Young of Oklahoma.

Also in line to join the Summer League roster are Oregon guard Elijah Brown, son of Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown, and Georgetown power forward Marcus Derrickson.