Warriors’ Stephen Curry a dark horse MVP candidate

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is being mentioned as a candidate in the preseason to eventually walk away with the NBA’s Most Valuable Player honor this season.

The Las Vegas betting site Bovada lists Curry as having 28-1 odds to become the MVP. That’s tied with Houston’s James Harden as having the ninth-best chance out of all NBA players.

LeBron James and an injured Kevin Durant remain the favorites in Las Vegas, but Curry could sneak in there as a dark horse candidate, according to writers at NBA.com when asked who could do it with Durant out.

“So I’ll go with Stephen Curry, with the idea that the Warriors will improve offensively (into the top seven in efficiency) and win 50-plus games again, with Curry averaging something in the range of 25 points and 10 assists,” John Schuhmann wrote.

Wrote Jeff Caplan: “I’ve been a believer since the day Steve Kerr was hired that Golden State is going to have a fun and loose squad that will play the same way. They’ll maintain the defensive principles, but Kerr will usher in a much more appealing, go-go offense that is going to play right into Curry’s hands. He’s set to go bonkers, folks, and the Warriors (health be with them) will follow.”

There is also preseason respect for Kerr, who Bovada listed as the odds for him winning NBA coach of the year honors at 10-1. That’s tied for fourth with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers.


Warriors’ Klay Thompson asking for max contract and should get one, according to father Mychal Thompson

Klay Thompson is asking for a max contract and deserving of such an extension from the Warriors, according to his father, Mychal Thompson.

“He’s going to get paid, but the question is how much is he going to get paid?” Mychal said Monday on the ESPN LA radio show he co-hosts. “You think he’s going to get the max? That’s what he’s asking for.”

Mychal noted that the player the Warriors did not trade Klay for in the offseason, Kevin Love, would have gotten a super max contract from Golden State. Klay’s father also indicated Friday he agreed that after Utah’s Gordon Hayward got a max contract, so should his son.

“I think he is (a max player), but of course, I’m his dad,” Mychal said. “You know what, though? If he wasn’t, I would say it. I can be honest about it.

“I think he is. I really do. His game’s really evolving, getting better, and he really puts in the work, got a great work ethic. And he’s the kind of guy that you can trust. You know when you give him the money, he’s not going to stop working hard.”

The Warriors have until Oct. 31 to agree to a contract extension on Thompson’s rookie-scale contract or watch the player they drafted become a restricted free agent next summer. Both co-owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers have expressed their desire to re-sign Thompson, though they must weigh how much to give the 24-year-old given salary cap and luxury tax implications.

Mychal sees a bright future for Klay with the Warriors this season.

“I’ve said it to Klay and other Warriors players: I think 1 through 12 they’ve got the deepest roster in the league,” Mychal said. “I told Klay, ‘You’re now a world champion (from the FIBA World Cup). Now it’s time to become an NBA champion.

“And I think they have the capabilities of doing it. They’re right there. Everybody talks about the Spurs and Thunder when (Kevin) Durant’s healthy, and of course, the Clippers, who are loaded too. But I don’t see the Warriors taking a back step to anybody.”

Mychal, a Lakers commentator and NBA champion as a player with the team, also indicated he wouldn’t mind Klay ending up in Los Angeles once Kobe Bryant retires.

“I’m kind of hoping, well, maybe another two guard will be down here pretty soon,” Mychal said. “I’m just thinking out loud.”


Warriors’ Andre Iguodala suffers broken nose

LOS ANGELES — Warriors forward Andre Iguodala suffered a broken nose in Thursday’s preseason win against the Lakers, but is expected to play in the team’s next preseason game Sunday, according to coach Steve Kerr.

Iguodala was accidentally struck by a Lakers player on the final play of the first half. He returned to the bench with tissue stuffed up both his nostrils and did not return to action. With his nose still bloody after the game, Iguodala said he put the nose back into place himself.

“He took a pretty good lick,” Kerr said, adding that Iguodala could wear a mask in upcoming games.

Iguodala had seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes of play.


Warriors’ Klay Thompson on Lakers’ Kobe Bryant: ‘I don’t know if I’m in his circle yet’

SANTA MONICA – The Warriors’ Klay Thompson will go up against childhood idol Kobe Bryant in a preseason game Thursday after the question was raised in the offseason as to who is the better shooting guard.

Thompson has improved his all-around game to the point where he’s in the conversation with the Los Angeles Lakers star, but the 24-year-old downplays the talk.

“I don’t know if I’m in his circle yet,” Thompson said. “I don’t have a championship. I don’t have an All-Star game under my belt. But yeah, it’s cool just to be known as one of the better shooting guards in the league to some people.”

Bryant, 36, played in only six games last season while rehabilitating from a knee injury. Thompson’s agent, Bill Duffy, is negotiating a contract extension and feels his client is right up there with Bryant.

“I don’t want Kobe Bryant to go crazy, but there’s some uncertainty as to who he is right now (because of injuries that limited him to six games last season),” Duffy told USA Today last month. “But I think Klay Thompson right now is the top two-way, two-guard in basketball. I think when you look at his body of work, when you look at what he accomplished guarding point guards on a regular basis (last season), I think it’s pretty clear.”

Thompson went to high school in Southern California and admires Bryant, who he doesn’t think pays attention to the Klay vs. Kobe talk.

“It’s almost like a dream come true when I’m playing against him,” Thompson said. “Kobe’s still one of the best in the game, so you’re always trying to measure yourself against the greats.”


Warriors’ Nemanja Nedovic: ‘When I’m healthy, everything is possible’

SANTA MONICA – Steve Kerr’s first impression of Warriors guard Nemanja Nedovic was a player who wasn’t quite in shape at NBA Summer League and didn’t play well there in Las Vegas.

But after coming to training camp in better shape and healed from a fracture of his fifth metatarsal, Nedovic earned the coach’s praise for putting together solid practices and having his best game in the Warriors’ preseason-opening win Tuesday.

“When I’m healthy, everything is possible,” said Nedovic, who had 12 points and three assists in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers. “I’m moving a lot better. I’m quicker, and my body just feels great.”

The Warriors’ first-round draft pick in 2013 will face more competition for playing time after Shaun Livingston returns from toe surgery. While Nedovic’s agent was quoted last week wondering if he would get a chance, the player feels he’ll get a fair opportunity.

“Yeah, why not?” Nedovic said. “Coach said he’s going to play the guys that give the best results, so my job is to give my best, to contribute to the game. It’s the coach’s decision.”

Nedovic said the front office hasn’t given him an indication on whether or not the third-year option of his contract will be picked up, adding that he wasn’t concerned about it.

“The biggest thing with Nedo is he’s just got to run the team,” Kerr said. “He doesn’t need to score. But we love the way he pushes the ball. He really attacked yesterday, put pressure on the defense, did a good job of getting us into our offense at the same time.”


Warriors’ Festus Ezeli has ‘very slight discomfort,’ expects to be ready for season opener

LOS ANGELES — Warriors center Festus Ezeli said he plans to be ready for the season opener despite shin inflammation that has left him sidelined indefinitely and awaiting a reevaluation later this week.

“That’s the plan,” Ezeli said Tuesday. “As of right now, I will be.”

Ezeli said the discomfort he was experiencing is “very, very slight” after making progress since being shut down Thursday. After missing all of last season recovering from knee surgery, Ezeli has worked to strengthen his right leg.

But he cautioned that it was up to the team’s medical staff to decide when he returns to action.

“It’s not really something I can just push through right now,” Ezeli said.


Jason Kapono goes from stay-at-home Bay Area dad to Warriors roster hopeful

SANTA MONICA – Warriors training camp invitee Jason Kapono despite having last played professionally in 2013 has been a busy man.

He and his wife live in Danville and are the parents of two sets of twins. The girls will soon turn 3, and the boys turned 1 on Tuesday.

Now the nine-year NBA veteran hopes to hang around with the Splash Brothers and bring his 3-point shooting expertise to a team whose general manager, Bob Myers, was once his agent for nine years.

“If I can get another year in and be on a quality team and have a good experience, it would be great,” Kapono said at shootaround before the Warriors’ preseason opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. “But I do understand this is a talented team with a deep roster, and they only have one spot left. It’s worth chancing.”