Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has already ruled out point guard Stephen Curry for the team’s first-round playoff series, saying “there’s no way” Curry will suit up before the conference semifinals. Curry said upon hearing Kerr’s comments: “Hopefully I prove coach wrong”. The Warriors announced Saturday that Curry has a sprained MCL and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. If anything, Kerr’s better off ruling out the possibility of Curry playing in the opening round. There’s no reason to let that question linger between now and the start of the postseason. The Warriors shouldn’t need Curry to advance to the conference semifinals anyway. Golden State would play the Timberwolves if the season ended right now, and the Timberwolves are without their best player as Jimmy Butler had meniscus surgery in February. A matchup with the Jazz or Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs doesn’t look that daunting, either. For Kerr, this is about not making the same mistakes he did two years ago. Curry suffered a sprained MCL in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs. He came back after a little over two weeks but didn’t look like himself for the remainder of the postseason. Curry shot 40.3 percent from the field and averaged 22.6 points in the 2016 NBA Finals. While Curry is clearly irreplaceable, rushing him back to the court will do more harm than good for Golden State.
The Bulls have signed guard Sean Kilpatrick to a three-year, $6.2 million deal, with team options for the next two seasons. As part of cap maneuvering to reach the salary floor, the Bulls signed Kilpatrick to part of their mid-level exception, including a guaranteed $2.1 million for the remainder of the season. Kilpatrick, 28, finished his second 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. He has also played for Brooklyn and Milwaukee this season, averaging 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 43 total games. His most successful season came in 2017-18, when he averaged 13.1 points and four rebounds in 70 games for the Nets. A four-year NBA veteran, Kilpatrick has played for six different teams, showing a knack for scoring off the bench. He has averaged 10 points for his career.
Zeke Upshaw, who collapsed during the final minute of Saturday’s game between the Grand Rapids Drive and the Long Island Nets, has died at the age of 26. Upshaw collapsed with just over 40 seconds left in the game, and was transported to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan to be placed under physician care. The team sent out the following statement on Monday afternoon, attributing Zeke’s mother, Jewel: “After continued efforts from the medical team at Spectrum Health, Zeke made his transition at 11:16 a.m. To family, friends, teammates, coaches, fans, and confidants, thank you for all your prayers and support during this most difficult time. We ask that you respect our privacy at this time. Details of his memorial will be announced at a later date. We’d like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Spectrum Health for their efforts in caring for our son. We’d also like to thank the Grand Rapids Drive for the support they have extended to our family”. Upshaw played at Illinois State for three seasons before transferring to Hofstra for his senior year, where he averaged 19.9 points per game. He played in Europe before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NBA Developmental League Draft by the Drive.