The Warriors are leaning in the direction of reaching agreement with veteran guard Jason Kapono on a training camp deal, according to the team Friday.
Kapono, 33, has played in the NBA for six teams in nine seasons and was last with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2011-12 season before playing in Greece.
A former UCLA star, Kapono went on to lead the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage in back-to-back seasons while with Miami and Toronto.
Warriors reserve guard Shaun Livingston has said he’s ahead of schedule with his recovery from offseason toe surgery, but coach Steve Kerr still expects him to miss the start of the season.
That’s because Livingston, who remains in a walking boot, will need time to get back into game shape after a lengthy time away from the court, according to Kerr. The 29-year-old originally sprained his right big toe in April and played through it in the playoffs.
“That was back in May, and (he) has not really been running on the floor since,” Kerr told KNBR on Thursday. “So he’s doing much better. The toe is healed. But he needs a few weeks on the court running and getting his conditioning and his strength and his timing before he’s really ready to get into a game. So I anticipate he’s going to miss a couple of weeks of the regular season, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Livingston, the Warriors’ most prominent free agent signing this offseason as the projected backup to Stephen Curry, underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out debris in the toe last month after weeks spent in a cast did not heal the injury.
Kerr also told the station that he didn’t think Livingston would see the floor in training camp for “a couple of weeks.”
“Livingston is probably going to miss a good chunk of camp if not all of it,” general manager Bob Myers said Tuesday. “I’m not worried about that because we think he’ll be back close to the start of the season.”
As Myers remains hopeful Livingston can be back for the start of the season, the player who suffered a career-altering knee injury in 2007 is staying positive about the situation.
“I look forward to be ready by the season,” Livingston told Sirius XM earlier this month. “I still have some rehab to go and just some strengthening issues just to get through. But a minor injury, cleaned it out, toe feels great, so looking forward for the progress.”
OAKLAND — The Warriors won’t look to re-sign center Jermaine O’Neal to fill their open roster spot, according to general manager Bob Myers, who two days earlier had left the door open to such a move.
O’Neal, 35, averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 44 games for Golden State last season and became a vocal leader. After 18 NBA seasons, O’Neal is considering retirement.
“He’s not going to come to (training) camp,” Myers, who is O’Neal’s former agent, said Thursday. “We’re going to go with our guys, our three centers we have — (Andrew) Bogut, (Festus) Ezeli, (Ognjen) Kuzmic.
“I think he’s still processing what he wants to do, still in the process of figuring it out. But for our purposes, he’s not going to be with us…He probably won’t be with us next year. The reason is nothing detrimental in regards to him, but we just have three guys that we have at the position, so he’d (have been) the fourth center, so that’s more why. Nothing negative. He was fantastic for us last year.”
Warriors center Andrew Bogut is expected to get more involved in the offense under Steve Kerr and agrees with his new coach that ball movement is the key to helping the team improve.
“He doesn’t want to go to one or two guys, he wants to move the ball around and make sure the offense is free-flowing and I’m a firm believer as he is that ball movement can cure a lot of things offensively for you,” Bogut told NBA Australia. “Our star players like Steph Curry will still get their points because they’re so talented and they can score 10-15 points in quick three- or four-minute bursts. On top of that, if we can get some ball movement with the talented players we have on this team we’re going to be pretty dangerous.”
Bogut, who averaged 7.3 points and a career-low 1.7 assists last season injury, said his fractured rib that caused him to miss the playoffs healed in the summer, adding, “I woke up one morning in late June and it felt great.”
General manager Bob Myers said Tuesday that Bogut has a clean bill of health and has been playing pickup for the past few weeks. That will allow Kerr to utilize Bogut more on offense.
“I think Bogut is a very underrated passer,” associate head coach Alvin Gentry told KNBR last month. “He’s very good in that elbow-post area, and so is David Lee. David Lee is a very good passer in that elbow and that high-post area, so we’re going to try to utilize some of that. That in turn I think will…allow Steph to come up with some easy baskets where he’s not working so hard to create shots for himself.”
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes spoke of last season being “a bad season,” and among the ways he’s looking to improve is by committing himself to rebounding.
“I’ve got to mix it up this year,” Barnes told The Champs Podcast. “I’ve to get in there, get in the fray a little bit. First two years, I never rebounded well.
“I’ve got to help the team.”
Barnes, who has averaged 4.1 rebounds per game in two NBA seasons, said he worked to change his body, shedding off excess weight and dropping his body fat percentage.
“I tried to make myself a little more elusive this summer so I could kind of dip and dive,” Barnes said.
“You have to make your body’s in good shape, but a lot of it’s mental. It’s just saying like, ‘Look, when that board gets off the glass, I’m going to go get it by any means necessary.’”
SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors center Marreese Speights said Friday he wants to concentrate on playing basketball rather than his pending legal issue.
Speights, 27, had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence in Tampa. The next court date is scheduled for October while the team is wrapping up its preseason schedule.
Asked if he had remorse for the events leading up to his Aug. 5 arrest in his home state, Speights said, “I’m just really trying to focus on just basketball right now. All of that other stuff will fall in place.”
Speights after telling at-risk students at Visitacion Valley Middle School about overcoming obstacles as part of the Warriors’ Back to School in the Bay initiative wrote on Instagram, “never would say I am (perfect) but I am growing as a person that can help change (a kid’s) life!!!”
The 6-foot-10 Speights averaged 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game last season after signing a three-year, $11 million contract. He resolved this offseason to come into training camp in better shape so that he wouldn’t repeat the slow start he had last season.
“They’ve been going good,” Speights said of his offseason workouts. “I’m getting better every day. There’s always more room to improve, so we’ve got another week for that and camp.
“I feel way better, and all my teammates and coaches and people realize it too, so that’s a good feeling.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that while Danny Ferry made a mistake with comments that caused the Atlanta general manager to take a leave of absence while embroiled a racial firestorm, Kerr was supportive of his former teammate.
“He’s a man of high character, I can tell you that,” Kerr said. “And I feel for him. He did make a mistake. It was a very poor choice of expression. It’s a difficult issue, but it’s one that needs to be discussed.”
Ferry while on a conference call with the Hawks ownership group that was recorded in June described then-free agent Luol Deng as someone who has “got some African in him,” adding, “He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”
Kerr played alongside Ferry for three seasons in Cleveland and two seasons in San Antonio, winning a championship together with the Spurs in 2003. Both went on to become general managers.
“All I can say is with my own relationship with Danny, and I know I’ve got a lot of teammates from all over from San Antonio, Cleveland — it doesn’t matter whether they’re black or white or what race or religion — everybody who knows Danny knows that he’s a good person,” Kerr said. “And it’s just a difficult time for him, and he made a mistake, so hopefully he can get through it. But he’s got our support. It’s about all you can do.”