Storyline: Kevin Durant Injury

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Every day, it’s been a little bit more progress for Kevin Durant and his rehabbing left knee. On Thursday, with the Warriors back practicing in Oakland after their recent road trip, Durant wore a game-like knee brace under his tights and tested his healing MCL sprain and bone bruise in team drills for the first time. “Did a little bit more today, went through some 5-on-0 stuff, some lateral movement,” Steve Kerr said. “Seems like he makes a new stride each day. It’s a good sign.”

For days, the Warriors had an agreement in place with Jose Calderon. He’d take a $400,000 paycut to work out his release with the Lakers, then the Warriors would sign him for $452,000 into their open 15th roster spot. But unpredictable things happen in sports and business. Kevin Durant got hurt a day before Calderon was set to sign. The Warriors suddenly needed a forward, not a guard, for that final roster spot. They mulled it over and decided they’d prefer to pick up Matt Barnes, not Calderon.
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August 22, 2017 | 10:39 am EDT Update
“They’re both playmakers; they both draw a lot of attention. I’ll be open a little bit more than I was last year, and that’s the beautiful thing about it. “The only one who’ll have to make a real adjustment is James, because Chris is gonna be the point guard. He’s definitely gonna be the point guard and, when he’s out of the game, James will be the point guard. They’re both gonna have the ball evenly throughout the game, and it’s going to be easy sailing.”
Defending the Sixth Man of the Year award is a goal for Gordon, and he has every chance to do that with the opportunities expected to come his way. The NBA’s three-point contest crown is also something Gordon possesses, and he has every desire to retain that ‘as long as he can’, too, starting with the 2018 event in Los Angeles. “Being a sixth man wasn’t a struggle at all. That’s why I won Sixth Man of the Year; I wanted to win that,” Gordon said. “That was the role I wanted to take. I thought that, if I come off the bench, it’ll make us a better team. I wanna defend it, I definitely wanna win it next year, and accomplish the same goals I did this year.
This season’s rookie class arrives with more fanfare. But interestingly, with the big names in the first few picks, the class thinks highest of the guy selected at No. 9. Dennis Smith Jr. made quite an impression in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in six games. For one fellow top-10 pick, Smith’s potential is about “how explosive he is and how capable he is at getting to the rim, and him developing his shot. I think a lot of people are underestimating how good he is right now and how good he’s going to be in the NBA.”