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Self-described ‘nosy’ Stephen Curry impressed by surprised birthday party

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State did not practice Tuesday as originally planned after the team held an early surprise birthday celebration Monday for Stephen Curry, whose wife Ayesha was involved. The couple arrived into San Francisco for the bash – 200-plus people, according to the man of the hour – on a yacht. Coach Steve Kerr was seen dancing on stage with his players in social media videos from the festivities.

“I’m really nosy, too, so the fact that they still were able to execute it is pretty remarkable,” Curry said. “I’m definitely thankful for that, all that love.”

Curry wanted to play on his milestone 30th birthday, a home game against the Lakers on Wednesday night.

The two-time MVP is doing his best to see the big picture, though. The playoffs are a month away and he plans to be in top form to lead another special Golden State run.

“I’ve been through this countless times but I feel very confident in the approach that we’re taking to get to as close to 100 percent as possible going into the stretch run of the regular season and then obviously the playoffs,” Curry said after his team’s shootaround Wednesday. “I would obviously love to be out there playing every game down the stretch, to be out there with my squad. At this point there’s enough time, not just me, we have a bunch of guys banged up, that we all can prioritize health and understand that we need to all be ready to go.”

Curry will miss at least the next four games for the ailing defending champions as he heals from his latest right ankle injury, while Splash Brother Klay Thompson also will miss those games. The Warriors announced on Tuesday’s injury report that Thompson has a fractured right thumb that will sideline him until he is re-evaluated March 22.

After Wednesday’s matchup with Los Angeles, they also will miss Friday at home against the Kings, then road games at Phoenix on Saturday and at San Antonio on Monday. Golden State is 11-6 this season without Curry, who missed an 11-game stretch with the ankle in December then injured it again March 2 at Atlanta but was able to play.

Draymond Green was also out Wednesday with soreness in his right shoulder. Backup center David West was sidelined for a fifth consecutive game with a cyst in his right arm. Rookie Chris Boucher was up from the G League Warriors for his possible NBA debut.

It was still hard for Curry to think about missing Wednesday’s game.

“Selfishly I was always keying in on tonight just because it was a big day,” Curry said. “You only turn 30 once. I have to keep a big-picture perspective. I understand the thought process around not just how my ankle feels today versus next Wednesday versus next Friday but the things that I need to do rehab-wise to strengthen my core, everything that protects your ankle so that when I do come back I’m ready. Obviously there’s risk playing. The reason I hurt my ankle, I landed on somebody’s foot twice. You can’t help that. I’ve got to do whatever I can to lower the probability of putting myself in that situation again, especially at this point in the season.”

Curry rolled his ankle driving left for a layup at the 9:38 mark of the first quarter in the win against the Spurs. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated next Tuesday.

 

PBT Extra: One last mock draft of NBA lottery

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DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).

After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.

Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks

AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.

And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.

He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.

Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.

If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

Report: 76ers trade No. 39 pick to Lakers

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.

Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.

So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.

Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.