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Dub Hub: Klay Thompson is learning to embrace the ‘last chapter’ of his career

Rounding up all Warriors and NBA related news for Wednesday, January 3rd.

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Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Warriors News:

Klay Thompson on his conversation with Steve Kerr: “We had a conversation about just enjoying this last chapter of my career”

GP2 sustains hamstring injury in Warriors’ win vs. Magic | NBC Sports Bay Area

This time, it’s Payton’s left hamstring that forced him out of the game.

Payton was defending down low underneath the Orlando basket when he appeared to get hurt. He grimaced and ripped off his headband then threw it into the crowd as he walked into the locker room.

“I feel bad for him more than anything,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I feel bad for us, too, but mainly for him. Worked hard to get back to this point. He makes such a big impact for us.

“Fingers crossed that he’s not out too long.”

Steve Kerr’s update on Draymond Green: “We’ve been giving him his space, he’s been giving us ours”

Hollinger: An NBA Play-In Tournament starring LeBron, Curry and Durant? It’s possible | The Athletic

You can make arguments that the Warriors’ underlying numbers aren’t quite this bad. They’ve played the league’s most difficult schedule thus far, according to Basketball-Reference, and Green has only been on the court for 15 of their 32 games entering Tuesday. On the other hand, Curry has been present for 30 of them, putting him on pace for his healthiest season since 2016-17, and that still hasn’t moved the needle.

The Warriors changed starting lineups in both games of my visit, which underscored what might be a larger systemic issue: The players they are hoping will be good and the players who have actually been good are not the same people. Despite the impressive play of youngsters Brandin Podziemski (more on him below) and Moses Moody, the Warriors are so all-in on the notion that Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and Andrew Wiggins can rediscover their championship-level play of two seasons ago that it has crowded out the more productive kids.

‘Victim of our depth’: Warriors’ Moses Moody can’t crack the rotation | San Francisco Chronicle

“Moses right now is the victim of our depth as a team, as a roster,” Kerr said Monday. “I think we have 13 guys who could all be in the rotation. Cory Joseph, every time I’ve put him out there, has played really well. Obviously, he’s got two Hall of Fame point guards ahead of him. So it’s tough to play three guards.

“But when Cory is in the rotation, I feel great. When Moses is in the rotation, I feel great. When you go down the list, I feel confident that 13 guys could be in the rotation. You can only play nine or 10. That’s the reality. So we are trying to find different combinations.”

NBA News:

Bulls’ LaVine (foot) progressing very well, says Donovan | ESPN

Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan said All-Star guard Zach LaVine has a “realistic” chance of returning from a sore right foot within the next week, possibly as soon as Friday’s home game against the Charlotte Hornets.

LaVine has missed the past 16 games with the injury.

“I don’t know what the exact date’s going to be, but the way he’s progressing right now and the fact that he’s in full-fledged contact, [it’s] very, very positive,” Donovan said before Tuesday night’s 110-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Jordan Clarkson posts 1st Jazz triple-double since 2008 | NBA

Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to post the first regular-season triple-double by a Utah player since 2008, leading the Jazz to a 127-90 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

Clarkson had 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds – the first triple-double of his career – and the first for the Jazz in a regular-season game since Carlos Boozer had one on Feb. 13, 2008, a stretch of 1,256 games. Also, Clarkson’s triple-double was the first in more than 40 years for a Jazz player coming off the bench, dating to Feb. 5, 1983, when Mark Eaton had 12 points, 14 rebounds and 12 blocked shots.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski discusses the potential trade window for Raptors’ Pascal Siakam

In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:

Player grades: Warriors vs. Magic

Jonathan Kuminga

34 minutes, 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-14 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 4-for-5 free throws, 58.6% TS, +10

Earlier in the day I wrote that I wanted Kuminga to get true starter-level minutes, and consistently.

So far, so good — JK was second on the team in minutes on Tuesday. It came with a cost, as Moses Moody was a healthy DNP, but seeing Kuminga get to play like an actual starter was a lot of fun.

His play warranted it, too. He saved a few failing possessions with a bevy of isolation moves, but also showed a commitment to team-oriented offense, repeatedly making the extra pass ... and making it quickly, for that matter. He was one of the team’s best defensive players, and played a huge role in budding star Paolo Banchero having five turnovers.

A few more rebounds would be ideal, but for the most part, this was exactly what the Warriors want from Kuminga: a dedicated defender who knows how to paint within the lines of the offensive system, while occasionally painting outside the lines with violent athleticism and creativity.

Bravo, JK.

Grade: A

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

7 New Year’s resolutions for the Warriors

Trade someone

Whoa! Starting off hot, are we?

If you’re looking for nuance from me as to whom the Warriors should target in a trade ... sorry, I don’t have it. Hell, if you’re looking for nuance from me as to whom the Warriors should get rid of, I also don’t have it. But the trade deadline is in about a month, so keep your eye open in the coming weeks.

I don’t know what players the Warriors should trade for. I don’t know what fake trades to propose. What I do know is this: despite having a losing record, despite being maddeningly inconsistent, and despite looking like a team with a lot to figure out, the Warriors also have ... umm ... believe it or not ... too many good players.

Follow @unstoppablebaby on Twitter for all the latest news on the Golden State Warriors.

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