Stephen Curry on re-re-aggravating leg injury: ‘It’s just a magnet’

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LOS ANGELES — “It’s just a magnet.”

That was how Stephen Curry described getting kicked in the leg again — the same leg with the same contusion that caused him to miss two games recently in hopes of healing this injury.

The question is will there be more rest in Curry’s future? He doesn’t want to sit — he wouldn’t even come out of Tuesday’s game when it happened, with the Warriors blowing the Lakers out — but he admitted this could linger. How long is it supposed to take to heal?

“Probably like four weeks, but I’m not going to sit out four weeks,” Curry said. “Just got to figure out how to protect it when I’m out there on the floor and keep playing.”

The re-injury (or is it re-re-injury if this is the third time?) happened the third quarter of the Warriors’ win. Curry drove and made a scoop layup under and around Lakers’ big man Roy Hibbert. But as he did it their legs collided. Shin on shin. The second it happened Curry came up limping, he was in obvious pain going down the court. The Warriors quickly committed a foul and called time out to get Curry out of the game.

Except he wouldn’t come out.

“I wasn’t going to put him back out at first, but he was pretty adamant about going back out,” Warriors “interim” coach Luke Walton said. “I asked the trainers, and they said he’s good, so we put him back out.”

Walton said if the training staff had said to pull him then it would have been out of Curry’s hands, but they didn’t. The Warriors are a player-friendly organization and Walton is the kind of coach who understands trying to play through pain, so he defers to what the player wants. Walton reminded everyone he used to play with Kobe Bryant in this building, a guy who played through a lot worse, and Walton knows elite competitors don’t want to come out. Ever.

Curry didn’t sound like a guy wanting time off, he wants to play through it.

“It’s just frustrating and annoying and any other adjective you want to throw in there,” Curry said. “Long term it isn’t something I need to worry about, it’s just playing through an injury, it’s just there. It doesn’t get worse unless I get kicked, and that’s happened three times since I did it, so hopefully it won’t keep happening. I’m trying all sorts of pads and stuff, but when I’m out there on the floor I’m not worried about it.”

Whether Curry sits will depend on how he feels over the next couple days, but the Warriors are off until Friday. Still at 33-2 on the season, they can afford to sit him for a couple of games to let this heal a little.

Just don’t expect him to be out a month.

Report: Clippers invite Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan to Kevin Durant meeting

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 26:  (L-R) Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan attend The CP3 Foundation's Celebrity Server Dinner presented by Apollo Jets at Mastro's Steakhouse on October 26, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for CP3 Foundation)
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The Clippers’ primary plan reportedly involves convincing Kevin Durant to take less than a max contract to play with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

If they’re willing to move one of their big three — the only way to clear enough cap space to offer Durant a max salary — suggesting the idea to Durant will be awkward. And not just because Doc Rivers indicated the Clippers would keep their core together.

Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi of ESPN:

To demonstrate their commitment to keeping Griffin, Jordan and Paul, as Doc Rivers said publicly after the season, sources said the Clippers invited all three players to attend their meeting with Durant.

Paul’s potential absence wouldn’t do much. Griffin would almost certainly be the player traded. Paul is a bigger part of the Clippers’ appeal.

But this makes it easier for Rivers in the likely event Durant signs elsewhere. The Clippers will still have their big three, and the trio can feel united (especially important with Paul and Griffin headed toward 2017 free agency).

This also helps leave the door open for Durant signing with the Clippers if he hits free agency in 2017.

Kevin Durant arrives at Thunder’s arena for what can’t legally be contract negotiations (video)

Oklahoma City Thunder Sign Kevin Durant to a Multi-year Extension
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Kevin Durant was reportedly set to meet with the Thunder today, but I figured it’d happen closer to midnight.

That way, Oklahoma City wouldn’t so blatantly skirt NBA rules banning teams from negotiating with free agents until July 1 (even their own free agents).

But Durant has already arrived at the arena, greeted by general manager Sam Presti and assistant general manager Troy Weaver.

Keaton Fox of Fox 25:

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Durant is still under contract with the Thunder another day, so he can show up at their arena. Maybe he’s just there to work out (wink, wink). I doubt anyone will investigate whether Oklahoma City is breaking league rules. Glass houses and such.

But maybe my attempting to at least toe the line today and limit discussions, the Thunder convince Durant another meeting is necessary.

I wouldn’t want Pat Riley getting the last word, either.

How many players will get max contracts in free agency? Over-under: 13

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 04:  Jeremy Lin #7 and Chandler Parsons #25 of the Houston Rockets (R)wait in dress clothes near the bench during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center on December 4, 2013 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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How many players will sign max contracts this summer?

Here are the 23 players, in order, I think have the best chance:

1. Kevin Durant

2. Andre Drummond

3. Bradley Beal

4. Hassan Whiteside

5. Nicolas Batum

6. Mike Conley

7. Harrison Barnes

8. Al Horford

9. DeMar DeRozan

10. Chandler Parsons

11. LeBron James

12. Evan Fournier

13. Kent Bazemore

14. Allen Crabbe

15. Jeremy Lin

16. Bismack Biyombo

18. Courtney Lee

19. Marvin Williams

20. Ryan Anderson

21. Rajon Rondo

22. Dwight Howard

23. J.R. Smith

Thoughts:

  • How many players will get 2016-17 max salaries (so contract length doesn’t matter)? I’ll set the over/under at 13.
  • Max salaries are determined by years of service with three tiers: 0-6, 7-9, 10+. So, Evan Fournier’s max is lower than Dwyane Wade’s. That makes a big difference.
  • Some players might get max offers and take less for one reason or another. That’s the trickiest part to predict.
  • It’s a good year to be a wing. As teams play smaller, they need more of shooting guards and small forwards — and there’s a shortage of good ones available.
  • Few teams need point guards, but there are even fewer starting-caliber point guards on the market. The top free agents at that position, even below Mike Conley, might come close to naming their price. The decline in talent is steep.
  • It’s harder to command big money as a big, because teams need fewer if just is playing at a time, and it’s a deep free-agent class at center.
  • LeBron can get a max salary if he wants. He might prefer the leverage a one-year deal creates, and that won’t be for the max with the Cavaliers.
  • J.R. Smith shares an agent, Rich Paul, with LeBron. The Cavs have no way to replace Smith with comparable talent if he walks. Good luck navigating that minefield, Cleveland.

Report: Rockets extend qualifying offer to Donatas Motiejunas, not Terrence Jones

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 17:  Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he loses the ball out of bounds between Terrence Jones #6 and Donatas Motiejunas #20 of the Houston Rockets during a 107-87 Rockets win at Staples Center on December 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Rockets didn’t extend the contracts of Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones last fall, a wise move to maximize cap flexibility.

Now, Houston will have to deal with those two in free agency, and here’s the first step.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets project to have more than $40 million in cap space without Jones’ hold ($5,720,513). This just gives them more flexibility to upgrade.

Motiejunas will be an interesting case. The Pistons voided a midseason trade with Houston when Motiejunas failed a physical, and that will certainly scare teams. But he’s a productive inside-out player when healthy, and he’ll draw suitors.

Jones’ star has fallen quickly due to injuries and underwhelming play. He’s talented and just 24. I’d taker a flyer on him, especially now that he’s an unrestricted free agent.