Warriors

Top NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball is big fan of Warriors' Steph Curry

Top NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball is big fan of Warriors' Steph Curry

About seven months from now, LaMelo Ball will hear his name called at the 2020 NBA Draft.

The 18-year-old -- who is playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia's National Basketball League -- is the younger brother of Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball.

He is averaging 15.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.6 steals through 11 games.

What does LaMelo think about Warriors superstar Steph Curry?

Here is an excerpt from a recent Bleacher Report feature on LaMelo, written by Mirin Fader:

Finally sitting back down, he pulls up NBA highlights on his phone. "My boy Curryyyyyy!" he says, watching Warriors guard Stephen Curry splash a deep three. Jackson and Brooks head out for another drink as LaMelo decides to stay in.

He waves goodbye, then grows quiet, locked into his phone. He is mesmerized by the threes, by the possibility that he could soon be there.

LaMelo wouldn't have said this if he didn't admire and/or respect Curry's game.

And it's wild to think that because the three-time NBA champion will be sidelined for several more months because of a broken left hand, Curry just might end up being teammates with LaMelo -- who is projected to be a top-five pick in June.

It's even possible that he ends up going No. 1 overall, and the Warriors currently have the worst record in the NBA.

Nobody knows how things will shake out, but it's fun to imagine what could transpire.

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As for those highlights LaMelo was watching -- in the Warriors' second preseason game against Minnesota on Oct. 10, Curry scored 40 points (in just 25 minutes) and went 6-for-9 from 3-point range.

Basketball misses you, Steph.

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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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