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NBA News and Notes

It has been a really tough few weeks for the Golden State Warriors when it comes to their health. For Game 3 of the NBA Finals, a 123-109 loss at home against the Raptors, they were without the likes of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney. It appears that they are getting some good news in regards to Klay Thompson, as he intends to play in Game 4 on Friday night. Thompson has been slowed down due to a strained hamstring, and while he wanted to play in Game 3, the Warriors decided to play it safer and keep him out.

This postseason Thompson has averaged 19.5 points on 44% shooting and four rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Now down 2-1 in the series, the Warriors will probably welcome Thompson’s return to give some help to Steph Curry, who went off for 47 points in Game 3.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Kevin Durant still remains out for Game 4. The Warriors still hope that he can return this season, but at this point, the medical staff has still not deemed him ready to participate in games. In the first 11 games of the playoffs, Durant averaged 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game. If he is able to return, it would obviously be a huge boost for Golden State.

Surprisingly, there is also some hope that Kevon Looney could return for the Warriors. Warriors coach Steve Kerr seemed to think that he would miss the rest of the postseason after suffering a costal cartilage fracture, but it appears that Looney still hopes to play.

He is having additional tests done to see the severity and to see if it is possible for him to return. While he wouldn’t have as significant of an impact as Thompson or Durant, he has had a really nice playoffs. Prior to his injury, Looney was averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 18 playoff games.

Hawks To Acquire Crabbe, Draft Picks

In a major cap-clearing move, the Brooklyn Nets agreed to trade Allen Crabbe, a 2019 first-round pick (No. 17) and a protected first-round pick in 2020 for Taurean Prince and a second-round pick in 2021. For Brooklyn, this is a major move as, if they renounced their rights to D’Angelo Russell, they would have room for two max-salary players. Even if they decide to keep Russell, they will still have room for at least one max salary, only further fueling the rumors of Brooklyn’s interest in Kyrie Irving. Additionally, they get Prince, who has averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game over two seasons.

For Atlanta, this is all about the picks. The additional salary is not as important as the two first-round picks that they currently have. In fact, in the 2019 draft, they currently hold the 8th, 10th and 17th picks. Their plethora of picks could lead to a deal to try to move up in the draft. Regardless, both teams certainly reap benefits from this deal.

Minority Warriors Owner Banned From Playoffs

In one of the more bizarre NBA stories, Mark Stevens, who is a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, has received a yearlong ban from the team. In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Kyle Lowry went diving into the seats to try to get a loose ball. Stevens, who was sitting nearby, chose to have words with Lowry and shoved him.

While he was initially banned for the rest of the NBA Finals, the NBA and Golden State have announced that he has been banned from all NBA games for a year. Additionally, he won’t be able to attend any team activities over that time period either. After many around the league clamored for swift and just punishments, the NBA came down hard on Stevens, and after his actions in Game 3, for good reason too.

Carter To Make Farewell Tour

It appears that one of the greats will be entering his farewell tour as Vince Carter has announced that he intends to return next season, but will be calling it quits after the season is done. As an unrestricted free agent, Carter will be looking for a team this offseason, unless the Atlanta Hawks decide to bring him back.

While he was a far cry from his career averages of 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, he still was relatively productive for the Hawks this season, averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and shot 41.9% from the field. Known for his amazing dunks and dominant play, the now 42-year-old will be looking for one more solid season to go out on a high note.

Powell To Stay With Dallas

As the Dallas Mavericks look to retool this offseason, it appears that one player will be sticking around for a while. Dwight Powell, who many believed could be an opt-out candidate, not only plans to opt-in with the Mavericks but will likely be signing an extension. By doing so, it gives the Mavericks a solid big man to pair with Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic. This season, Powell averaged 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 59.7% from the field and averaged 21.6 minutes per game.

Knicks Could Be Interested in Leonard

Kawhi Leonard certainly won’t be short on suitors this offseason, and the New York Knicks are another team you can add to the list. It appears that Leonard could be on the Knicks’ short list of players, alongside Kevin Durant, that they will try to target this offseason. Still, there will be lots of teams in on the star forward, including the Raptors, Clippers, Nets, and possibly the Lakers. On the season, Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals. He has stepped up his play even more in the playoffs, though, where he is averaging 30.9 points, nine rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 49.8% from the field.

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