The Warriors announced Stephen Curry would miss at least three months with a broken hand.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, citing an unnamed “team source,” reported Curry would likely miss the rest of the season.

Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area:

Warriors are strongly refuting the report that Stephen Curry be out for the season. Source says his timeline hasn’t changed for better or worse and he will be re-evaluated in February as planned.

— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) November 8, 2019

File this under: What else are they supposed to say?

The Warriors gave their timeline, and they practically have to stick to it. The NBA is cracking down on mixed messaging with injuries.

If desired, Golden State can re-evaluate Curry in three months and rule him out longer then.

I don’t have much confidence either way in whether Curry will return this season. Bucher’s initial report was far from convincing, and neither is this follow-up.

Ultimately, it will probably make only minimal difference. Curry is an exciting superstar who makes the Warriors more fun to watch. But they appeared in over their heads even when he was healthy this season. They’ll likely fall out of the playoff race in the next three months.

The Warriors said Stephen Curry would miss at least three months with a broken hand.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

A team source says the fracture was worse than originally thought, and it’s unlikely that he plays again this season.

I question the veracity of this report. But it’s out there.

Golden State looked awful with Curry. Losing him for the season – even if Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell get and stay healthy – would practically extinguish the Warriors’ already-dim playoff chances.

A lost season could push Golden State and Curry to proceed cautiously, regardless of the exact extent of his injury.

This will only increase comparisons to the 1996-97 Spurs. But David Robinson returned from his initial injury with San Antonio 3-15 then got hurt again after just six games. That’s why the Spurs lost enough to get No. 1 pick Tim Duncan.

Also keep in mind: Even if they lose the rest of their games, the Warriors will have an 86% chance of NOT getting the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. The lottery would put them at about coinflip between getting a top-four pick or the No. 5 pick.

Any high lottery pick would help. The Warriors already have a few stars/theoretical stars – Curry, Klay Thompson, Green, Russell – locked up long term. A premier prospect could jumpstart the next era.

In the meantime, Golden State is in for some misery this season – more if Curry doesn’t return.

Through agent Rich Paul, Anthony Davis extended a stick toward undesirable teams considering trading for him (especially the Celtics) – threatening to leave in 2020 free agency.

Did Davis offer a carrot to persuade his desired Lakers to trade for him?

After all, the more certainty the Lakers had him in re-signing, the more they could justify sending the Pelicans. And Los Angeles sent A LOT.

Brian Windhorst on ESPN:

Anthony Davis has not guaranteed the Lakers that he will re-sign, I have been told.

The Lakers, repeatedly punished for tampering, probably appreciate this answer. Though they’d likely skate for a player pledging to re-sign – what are they supposed to do about that? – it’d invite unwanted scrutiny.

Davis hasn’t said much about his impending free agency, but it’s easy to connect the dots. He wanted to join the Lakers, and they can pay him the most money. As long as Davis doesn’t sour on Los Angeles between now and the summer, he’ll almost certainly re-sign.

The Lakers could also figure that out when formulating their trade offer to New Orleans. They didn’t need Davis to make anything explicit.

Kevin Durant said his argument with Draymond Green last season contributed to him leaving the Warriors last summer.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr on the “Book of Basketball 2.0” podcast with Bill Simmons:

This was two guys who were about ready to fight.

In this particular case with Kevin, it was too much, and it’s something that happened on national TV. And now, you open up the whole world – you’ve invited the whole world to scrutinize your team. And so now, there’s so many distractions that it becomes really difficult to deal with. If this had happened at a practice, you can cover it up. Actually, we had several things over the past few years that have happened that never made it out, and we’re very proud of that.

This echoes David West, who flaunted the Warriors’ ability to keep secrets.

But this wasn’t just bad luck that Green and Durant were on national television. Of course, Green knew cameras were on him. It was the middle of the game.

Green was so upset with Durant, Green berated Durant in front of everyone. Usually, players wait to confront teammates until they’re in private. That Green didn’t wait speaks to intensity of the discord.

And probably says something about why Durant left.

Of the nine 2016 first-round picks who averaged over 10 points per game during their first three seasons, eight received a rookie-scale contract extension last offseason – Ben Simmons, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Taurean Prince, Jaylen Brown, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Pascal Siakam.

The lone exception: Brandon Ingram.

Ingram is off to an excellent start, averaging 26 points per game. He’s not just posting empty numbers for the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans. Ingram looks improved in nearly every facet of his game.

Does New Orleans regret not extending him before last month’s deadline?

Brian Windhorst on ESPN:

From what I’ve been told, there wasn’t even really significant talks about it. I think both sides realized now is not the time to make a deal because of that blood clot.

That blood clot, which sidelined Ingram the end of last season with the Lakers, is so concerning. A recurrence could end Ingram’s career. It’s hard to agree to an extension with that looming over negotiations.

So, maybe the Pelicans could’ve extended him for less money. But that would’ve been taking a huge risk.

Now, though they’ll likely have to pay up to keep him.

If Ingram stays healthy and keeps playing like this, he could draw max offer sheets this summer. He’ll stand out in a weak free-agent class.

Expect New Orleans to match. Even before taking the job, Pelicans lead executive David Griffin has consistently praised Ingram. Now, Ingram is doing more to justify the hype.

The Pelicans are probably happier to have a max-level(-ish) player on their roster rather than kicking themselves for not securing him for cheaper.

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