The Golden State Warriors drafted James Wiseman with the second pick as LaMelo Ball fell to third on his way to the Charlotte Hornets.

Wiseman and Ball were next best on the board after the Minnesota Timberwolves used the top selection on Georgia guard Anthony Edwards in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Keen to return to the summit of the NBA following a forgettable 2019-20 season, the Warriors turned to Memphis center Wiseman.

Wiseman – compared to DeAndre Jordan and Hassan Whiteside – played only three games for Memphis last season, but his blend of size and athleticism gives him upside.

He had a points/assists/rebounds average of 30.7 across his three games, dominating on the boards as he put up 10.7 total rebounds per game.

"Versatility, be able to rebound, run the floor, block shots and just space the floor out for my size," Wiseman told ESPN when asked what he could bring to the Warriors.

"I've been playing a lot of pickup games and stuff this summer. I've just been improving my game every day so I'm just ready and I'm prepared."

Following Kevin Durant's departure to the Brooklyn Nets, and injuries to All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors went 15-50 and missed the playoffs after reaching every Finals between 2015 and 2019.

Ball had been projected to go first, as was Edwards, but the 19-year-old's name was called out third midweek.

LaMelo Ball, whose older brother and New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo was drafted second in 2017, will move to Charlotte after impressing with the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL.

Ball was crowned the 2019-20 NBL Rookie of the Year during his stint with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia, where he averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games before a foot injury cut short his season.

He also became the youngest player in NBL history to record a triple-double after posting 32 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against the Cairns Taipans in November last year, while he also had three double-doubles.

After reaching the NBA Finals for five successive seasons, winning on three occasions, the Golden State Warriors took a year off from competing at the top of the league in 2019-20. 

Injuries to Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, as well as the departure of Kevin Durant, left the Warriors with just one remaining All-Star, Draymond Green, and ill-equipped to contend for the Larry O'Brien Trophy again. 

Instead, the Warriors finished a lowly 15-50, making them nothing more than interested spectators as the season reached its conclusion in an Orlando bubble following a coronavirus-enforced suspension. 

The saving grace was that their struggles on the court netted the Warriors the second overall pick in the draft, which takes place on Wednesday. 

Golden State would have obviously preferred the lottery to have ended with them selecting first. However, with Curry and Thompson poised to return, the question over what they will choose to do is one of the most intriguing elements of the draft. 

Should the Warriors select wisely, they will have additional ammunition with which to compete once more at the sharp end of a Western Conference in which LeBron James and reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers will surely be favourites. 

Warriors general manager Bob Myers faces one of the most pivotal decisions in the recent history of the franchise. Here we examine three possible avenues he could take with their highest draft pick since 1995.

Select James Wiseman

Memphis center James Wiseman is the name most frequently connected with the Warriors and the second overall selection. 

Despite Wiseman having played only three games in his collegiate career, it is a choice that would make a lot of sense for Golden State. 

Even at the peak of their dynasty, center was a weakness for the Warriors; Damian Jones failed to fill the void after the struggles of Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli played a significant role in their infamous 2016 Finals collapse. 

A tremendous athletic specimen at 7ft 1in, Wiseman's brief time on the court in college suggested he can help at both ends of the floor. However, it is on defense where he would likely be most valued.

The under-manned 2019-20 Warriors ranked 25th in the NBA in defensive rebounds with 32.9 per game. 

Golden State cannot rely solely on Green and Kevon Looney, who started only four games last season, to improve their rim protection. 

Green led the Warriors with 5.7 defensive rebounds per game in 2019-20. Wiseman averaged 6.3, along with 3.0 blocks and 19.7 points, in his short time at Memphis. 

The sample size may be small and the level of competition much lower, but Wiseman has indicated he can be a defensive force for Golden State. 

With the established core of Curry, Thompson and Green sure to keep them competitive, the Warriors can afford to take a chance on a player of Wiseman's limited experience and bet on his physical tools translating to NBA success.

Draft a wing

Having parted with Andre Iguodala last offseason and lost Shaun Livingston to retirement, the Warriors are lacking a sixth man who can play on the wing. 

Finding a rotational player who can operate as both a guard and forward, switch on defense and provide additional three-point shooting is a priority for Golden State. 

Damion Lee enjoyed a decent season as a swingman in 2019-20, averaging 12.7 points per game and shooting 35.6 per cent from three-point range. 

However, Lee was 11th on the Warriors in Defensive Rating, which estimates the number of points allowed by a player per 100 possessions. They would, therefore, benefit from a wing with the ability to make a greater all-round contribution. 

Georgia guard Anthony Edwards may fit the bill. A potential number one pick, Edwards could prove tough for the Warriors to resist if the Minnesota Timberwolves take LaMelo Ball first overall.

The versatile Edwards was fifth in defensive rebounds per game among guards in the Southeastern Conference with 4.5. 

He was in the top 10 for blocked shots while shooting 40 per cent from the field, though his three-point accuracy may be a concern. Edwards hit on just 29.4 per cent of his attempts from beyond the arc last season. 

And if the Warriors are not comfortable with him or Wiseman, they may be able to move back in the draft and still land a wing that meets their needs.

Trade back for depth

'Strength in numbers' was the strapline attached to the Warriors' playoff runs during their era of dominance. 

It was a fitting slogan. In addition to Curry, Thompson, Green and Kevin Durant, the Warriors could overwhelm teams with the level of options available to them from the bench. 

Yet with Durant limited to one game in the 2019 NBA Finals, it was a rallying cry that made less sense during their defeat to the Toronto Raptors in six games. 

Curry and Green each averaged over 41 minutes per game in that series, while Thompson (37.6) and Iguodala (31.4) also had to do plenty of the heavy lifting, the former tearing his ACL in the decisive Game 6. 

Just four other players who participated in more than one Finals game averaged double figures in terms of minutes and only one, Looney, remains on the roster for 2020-21. 

The Warriors saw rapid development from 2019 second-round pick Eric Paschall, who was named to the NBA's All-Rookie team, in the 2019-20 campaign. 

Trading D'Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves netted Golden State former 2014 first overall pick Andrew Wiggins, yet it is unclear whether the Warriors will stick with him as a reclamation project or use him as bait in another trade. 

Regardless of what happens with Wiggins and the progress of Paschall, the Warriors remain in need of veterans who can take some of the load off their big three. 

Depending on the offers they receive, moving out of the No. 2 pick would potentially enable them to acquire some additional help. 

They could still address the wing even after dropping down the board too, with Israel's Deni Avdija seen as a potential target along with Tyrese Haliburton, Devin Vassell and Saddiq Bey. 

Curry is 32 and Thompson and Green are both 30. The Warriors' window as contenders may not be open for too much longer. 

The question they must answer this offseason is clear: how do they maximise it? Do they select a top-tier prospect who may take time to develop, or do they try to pull off a trade that allows them to potentially add both youth and also much-needed veteran depth to the roster? 

After a year in the wilderness, the Warriors' decision could go a long way to shaping the Western Conference in 2020-21. 

The Golden State Warriors have submitted a plan that aims to reopen Chase Center at 50 per cent capacity for the 2020-21 NBA season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A December 22 start date for a 72-game regular season, not the usual 82-game schedule, has been tentatively approved following the COVID-19-hit 2019-20 campaign.

The NBA season was shut down in March before resuming behind closed doors at the Orlando bubble in July, with the Los Angeles Lakers claiming the championship in October.

As teams prepare for the new campaign, Warriors owner Joe Lacob is aiming to allow spectators back into the venue in San Francisco amid vigorous testing.

"I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I'm willing to spend the money to do it," said Lacob.

"This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years ... because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more.

"You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We'll all get by for a year. But suppose we're in this situation next year.

"Now we're talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people."

Lacob added: "Let us prove the concept. Let us use our money, our resources, our seven-eight months of work, our expertise to prove the concept. That's what I'm trying to get the state, the city and the government to entertain.

"This [rapid PCR] test is orders of magnitude more accurate than the [rapid antigen] test at the [White House] Rose Garden event. This is the best you can do. A lot of people don't even know these tests exist yet, and they are ramping them up.

"By springtime, the rapid PCR tests will be manufactured in amounts nearing 100,000 per day by some of these companies. But I'm trying to show the world, trying to show the sports world in particular, and California, a way to do this. A safe way to have people come to an event and be totally safe walking in that building. The numbers bear it out."

The Warriors endured a forgettable 2019-20 season, missing the playoffs.

With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson injured, and Kevin Durant off to the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors finished with a 15-50 record.

At this time a year ago, most NBA teams were right around the 10-game mark.

The Los Angeles Lakers, who would capture the season's delayed championship a mere 11 months later, sat atop the Western Conference at 8-2, while defending conference champions and injury-ravaged Golden State Warriors were tied with the lowly New York Knicks for the league's worst record at 2-9.

Fast-forward a year, and the NBA is in the midst of an offseason, albeit a brief one. The 2019-20 season ended on October 11, and just this week the NBA made it official that the 2020-21 campaign will tip off on December 22.

The draft had been scheduled for October 16 before being pushed back to next Wednesday, when it will take place virtually from the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

The draft order was set back on August 20, when the league conducted its lottery at the NBA office in Secaucus, New Jersey, revealing the Minnesota Timberwolves have the top selection and the Boston Celtics have the last lottery pick – courtesy of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Most of these teams have not played a game since mid-March, so in case you have forgotten about how the league's also-rans fared – or tried to forget if you are a Knicks fan – here is a little breakdown of some notable stats from the teams with lottery picks.

 

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

For the second time in franchise history the Timberwolves have the top overall pick. The only other time they picked first was in 2015, when they selected Karl-Anthony Towns out of Kentucky. Towns led the Timberwolves last season with 26.5 points per game, while D'Angelo Russell averaged 21.7 and Malik Beasley averaged 20.7. The Timberwolves and the Celtics were the only two teams last season to have three players average 20 or points (minimum 12 games played). Minnesota could have possibly had more 20-point players if they could have made a higher rate of their shots. Minnesota were third in the league in three-point attempts per game (39.7) but were the NBA's third-worst team in three-point shooting at 33.6 per cent to become just the third team in league history to rank in the top three in three-point attempts per game and third worst in three-point percentage, joining the 1999-2000 Sacramento Kings and 2003-04 New Orleans Hornets. While the offense struggled, Minnesota's defense were abysmal, allowing at least 100 points in each of their final 30 games. After the All-Star break, the Timberwolves' opponents' scoring average of 125.3 points and opponents' shooting percentage of 51.7 percent both ranked last in the league. Winning the lottery and picking first is usually a blessing, but without a clear-cut number one in this draft, Minnesota have some decisions to make with how they plan to bolster their roster.

2. Golden State Warriors

A year ago, the Warriors were picking 28th and now they are second. Times have certainly changed, but you would have probably noticed that already. Given the Warriors were without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for essentially the entire season, it is no big surprise Golden State's winning percentage from 2018-19 to 2019-20 dropped by .464 – the biggest decline by any team from one season to the next since the Cleveland Cavaliers' drop in winning percentage of .512 from 2009-10 to 2010-11. Offensively, Golden State finished last in the NBA in effective field goal shooting at 49.7 per cent - (FGM plus 0.5 three points made)/FGA – and last in points scored per 100 possessions at 102.9. Eric Paschall led the depleted Warriors in scoring with 837 points – the lowest by any team leader in 2019-20. As Golden State's scoring leader, Paschall became the first Warrior rookie to lead the team in scoring since Hall of Famer Rick Barry in 1965-66. With Curry and Thompson healthy, the offense will have an entirely different look for 2020-21 and get Golden State back among the upper echelon of teams. The Warriors now seem to be targeting Memphis big man James Wiseman to upgrade a defense that allowed 110.9 points per 100 possessions – tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the fifth worst in the NBA.

3. Charlotte Hornets

After a lacklustre offensive showing in 2019-20, the Hornets are picking third for the first time since taking Gonzaga's Adam Morrison in 2006. While the NBA scoring average was at 111.8 points per game, Charlotte averaged a league-low 102.9 points and shot a league-worst 43.4 per cent – the first team since the 2015-16 Lakers to finish last in both categories. They shot a league-worst 33.4 per cent on pull-up shots and even right at the rim they struggled to convert, recording a league-worst 56.6 per cent on dunks and layups. In their 65 games played last season, they were outshot in 48 of them – the most in the league. You get the picture, the Hornets need to improve their shooting.

4. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are the only team to rank in the bottom five in scoring each of the last three seasons. They concluded the 2019-20 campaign with the NBA's fourth-worst scoring offense at 106.8 points per game and the fourth-worst offensive rating at 104.1 points per 100 possessions. They were the fifth-worst shooting team on catch and shoots at 35.7 per cent and sixth worst at converting dunks and layups at 58.4 percent. Not only were the Bulls not much of threat offensively, they were a mess on the glass, averaging the second-fewest rebounds in the NBA at 41.9 per game – the franchise's fewest since averaging 40.0 in 2001-02. Upgrading the offense with a proven shooter could be the way new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas leans.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Defense was somewhat optional for the Cavaliers last season, and they essentially opted not to play it, ranking last in the NBA in points allowed per 100 possessions at 113.6. Since the advent of the three-point line in 1979-80, their opponents' effective field goal percentage of 56.0 was the second worst by any team in a season beating out only the 2018-19 Cavs' 56.4. Their offensive production was not much better, with their 104.4 points per 100 possessions ranking sixth worst in the NBA. Carelessness played a part in Cleveland's inefficient offense with their 16.5 turnovers per game ranking last in the league – the first time since 1997-98 they finished last in turnovers per game. The Cavs enter this draft with plenty of needs on both sides of the ball.

6. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks had glaring issues both offensively and defensively last season, posting the fifth-worst offensive rating at 104.3 points per 100 possessions, along with the third-worst defensive rating at 112.3 opponents' points per 100 possessions. Their defense was especially shoddy down the stretch, permitting a league-worst 124.3 points per game since February 1. Their offensive woes, meanwhile, stemmed from poor perimeter shooting, as they ranked last in the league in three-point shooting at 33.3 per cent – the first time since 2006-07 they had the NBA's worst three-point percentage. Finding someone to compliment Trae Young would go a long way in boosting the offense. Young averaged a team-high 29.6 points while the Hawks' second-leading scorer, De'Andre Hunter, averaged 12.3 points. That difference of 17.3 points per game was the largest gap in the NBA between a team's leading scorer and its second-leading scorer.

7. Detroit Pistons

Perhaps the biggest issue for the Pistons last season was that the oft-injured Derrick Rose led the team in scoring – not exactly the ideal player a team want to build around given his age and inability to stay healthy. Rose's average of 18.1 points per game was the second lowest for a team leader in 2019-20, and the Pistons had a 30-point scorer in just seven games – tied with the Miami Heat for the fewest 30-point games by a player last season. Detroit's offense was never flashy, averaging the fifth-fewest fast-break points per game at 11.0, and then it really shrivelled down the stretch, averaging a league-worst 103.7 points per 100 possessions after the end of January. Selecting a playmaker that can jump-start the offense should be Detroit's prime goal come draft night.

8. New York Knicks

Offense was not New York's strong suit last season. The Knicks had the league's worst true shooting percentage at 53.1 per cent and second-worst effective field goal percentage at 50.1. Not to be outdone, they also had the league's second-worst offensive rating at 103.8 points per 100 possessions. Behind power forward Julius Randle, the Knicks found success in scoring inside, scoring 46.9 percent of their points on dunks and layups – the seventh-highest rate in the NBA – but had the league's fourth-worst three-point percentage at 33.7. Upgrading at the point guard position, preferably with one who can score, is the troubled team's top priority.

9. Washington Wizards

Defense – or lack thereof – was the downfall of the 2019-20 Wizards, who surrendered 125 or more points in an NBA-worst 26 games. Washington were last in the NBA in opponents' true shooting percentage at 59.6 and had the league's second-worst defensive rating, allowing 112.7 points per 100 possessions. The team also had no answer on the boards, as they were outrebounded in an NBA-worst 50 games. Bradley Beal, meanwhile, carried the offense, leading the team in scoring in 46 games last season – two fewer than Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks outright in scoring for the most in the NBA. Led by Beal, the Wizards reached the 115-point mark in 34 games – eighth most in the NBA - but their .500 winning percentage (17-17) in games scoring 115 points or more was tied with the Timberwolves (15-15) and Warriors (8-8) for the worst in the league. The all-out offensive attack does not seem to be working for the Wizards, so a defensive stopper may be the answer.

10. Phoenix Suns

The Suns were all business on their summer trip to "The Most Magical Place on Earth," but still missed the playoffs for a 10th straight season – the second-longest active playoff drought behind the Sacramento Kings at 14. Phoenix are seemingly a playoff-calibre team, at least it looked that way at Walt Disney World Resort, where they won all eight of their games in the restart to become the first team in NBA history to end the regular season on an eight-game winning streak and still miss the playoffs. The Suns averaged 122.3 points and shot 40.2 per cent from three-point range in Orlando after averaging 112.6 points while shooting 35.3 per cent from beyond the arc before the season went on pause. Prior to the restart, the Suns were tied with the Cavs for 20th in the NBA in three-pointers made per game at 11.2, so adding a wing that can connect from long range would help. What would also help would be capturing that magic the team displayed inside the Orlando bubble and playing with that intensity from the get-go instead of waiting until the last two weeks.

11. San Antonio Spurs

With the 11th pick of the draft, the Spurs have a lottery pick for the first time since drafting Tim Duncan first overall in 1997. That is what happens when the team misses the playoffs for the first time in 23 years. San Antonio had some success offensively last season, ranking fourth in three-point shooting at 37.6 per cent. The problem was only the Knicks attempted fewer three-pointers, so Gregg Popovich was not buying into the chuck up three-pointer offense. The offense, however, neglected to force the ball inside, attempting a league-low 27.6 percent of their shots on dunks and layups. Instead, San Antonio attempted an NBA-high 70.4 per cent of their shots on jumpers. Popovich's defense also was not up to normal standard last season, allowing 110.9 points per 100 possessions - tied with the Warriors for the fifth worst in the NBA. While the defense could be improved, upgrading the offense with a playmaker is paramount.

12. Sacramento Kings

The Kings may be owners of the longest active playoff drought at 14 years, but their trajectory is pointing in the right direction with an offense revolving around De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Since the start of February, Sacramento ranked seventh in three-point shooting at 38.0 per cent and 10th in scoring at 115.6 points per game. The problems begin with their lack of size and athleticism in the interior. The Kings were the fourth-worst rebounding team, averaging 42.6 boards, and fourth worst in blocking shots, averaging 4.07. Opponents also shot 64.9 per cent within five feet of the rim – the second-highest field goal percentage in the league. Finding a rim protector could be the difference in the Kings reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Like the Kings, the Pelicans have a solid young core behind Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball and are on the precipice of becoming a playoff team. Last season, they ranked seventh in three-point shooting at 37.0 per cent, fifth in three-pointers made per game at 13.6 and fifth in scoring at 115.8 points per game. However, they also ranked 17th in offensive rating at 108.0 points per 100 possessions after ranking 29th in turnovers per game with an average of 16.4. Their defense also left something to be desired, especially in the restart, where their opponents' average of 113.4 points per 100 possessions was tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the fifth worst from the eight seeding games. The defense should see improvement under new coach Stan Van Gundy and drafting a big man that can step out to draw opposing defenses away from Williamson will make the offense more dangerous.

14. Boston Celtics

Eight weeks after playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics own a lottery pick via a trade with the Grizzlies from five years ago. Boston are the only team with three first-round picks, so for a team with a championship window wide open it seems unlikely they will keep all of them. The Celtics ranked second in three-point defense last season at 34.0 per cent and fourth in defensive rating at 104.5 points per 100 possessions. They were also tied with the Spurs for fifth in offensive rating at 110.4 points per 100 possessions and will bring back most of their roster, so they do not have a lot of big-time needs. More depth would certainly be welcome, however, after Boston's reserves accounted for just 25.0 percent of the team's total points – the third-lowest percentage of bench points in the NBA.

Steve Kerr aimed a dig at the Houston Rockets by insisting the Golden State Warriors will not play like them despite a significant turnover in personnel.

The Warriors went from making the NBA Finals for a fifth straight year in 2019 to finishing the past regular season with the worst record in the league at 15-50.

Golden State were without All-Star backcourt duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for almost the entire season – the former played just five games while the latter sat out the campaign to recover from ACL surgery.

Kerr has won three rings as head coach of the Warriors and despite the losses of Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant – key members of the dynasty they established – the switch to a system like that used by the Rockets, who have focused their offense on isolation plays for James Harden, does not appeal.

"We're not reinventing the wheel. We're still gonna be the Warriors," Kerr said on the TK Show.

"We're not going to all of a sudden turn into the Rockets — change our offense — and have one guy go high pick-and-roll 70 times a game.

"We've got to be ourselves. What makes Steph and Klay the players they are is the combination of what they can on and off the ball. That's what moves defenses.

"And what makes Draymond [Green] special is his ability to distribute from either the four or the five spot — to have playmaking at that level. As you watch [the] Miami [Heat] right now [in the NBA Finals], you can see the influence that our team has had on the league.

"It's really difficult for defenses to guard when there's a lot of action going on. So we're not gonna change that stuff."

Harden averaged a league-high 14.1 isolation possessions per game during the 2019-20 regular season, almost twice as many as Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook who was second on the list at 7.4.

Outside of Houston, Damian Lillard had the most isolation possessions per game at 4.8 – almost a third of Harden's.

Klay Thompson took part in his first full practice with the Golden State Warriors since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last year. 

Five-time All-Star Thompson underwent surgery last year after going down with the injury in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. 

He joined the Warriors minicamp on Friday and trained with the rest of the team for the first time, 470 days after suffering the ACL damage. 

"It was great to have him out on the floor, in the locker room," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. 

"Just his presence alone gave us a jolt of energy and excitement. Practice went well. This is the first practice coming off an ACL injury and a year-and-a-half absence, so I didn't expect him to be in top shape, in top form, and he was not, but he moved well and it's a good first step. 

"We didn't scrimmage. We haven't had a five-on-five scrimmage yet. We're trying to ease into it because of the long lay-off. But Klay got a lot of good work in and I think he was able to gauge kind of where he is right now and what needs to do going forward." 

With Stephen Curry and Draymond Green excused from the camp – branded 'the Dubble' – for family reasons, Kerr hopes Thompson will be ready to scrimmage with his team-mates when the time comes. 

"It kind of depends how he reacts and what Rick [Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance] says and what Klay says. Just kind of have to take it step by step. So we'll kind of see where he is tomorrow [Saturday] and make a decision accordingly." 

Thompson signed a five-year, $190million extension with the Warriors last offseason but missed the entire 2019-20 campaign as Golden State registered a league-worst 15-50 record

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have been excused from the Golden State Warriors' voluntary minicamp due to family reasons.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed the absence of stars Curry and Green following Golden State's first practice session on Wednesday.

The Warriors have returned to training after their 2019-20 season was cut short amid the coronavirus pandemic – Golden State not qualifying for the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort with a league-worst 15-50 record.

Curry only made five appearance last season due to a broken left hand sustained in October, while Green was restricted to just 43 games for the injury-hit Warriors.

"First of all, I want to make clear that this is a voluntary camp," Kerr said. "And so [general manager] Bob [Myers] and I have both been in touch with Steph and Draymond and we are well aware of their circumstances.

"And so they both have important family issues to attend to and so they have excused absences."

Kerr added: "Would I like them to be here? Of course. We know, we're watching all these teams in the bubble; the ones that didn't make the playoffs, even they got six weeks together to practice and play games and try different combinations and line-ups.

"And we haven't had that opportunity, so we're just going to use the opportunity that we have here over two weeks, just like the other seven teams that didn't go to the bubble, and we'll try to make the most of this time, get plenty of work in.

"A lot of guys are going to get a lot better and really thrive in this environment. I'm not worried about Steph and Draymond; I know how hard they work and I know they'll be prepared for next season."

Warriors star Klay Thompson is also recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals.

"He's doing well," Kerr said. "He worked out here at the facility for several days in a row, maybe four or five days in a row with [assistant coach] Chris DeMarco, and Chris gave me really positive updates.

"I was here for a couple of those days and got a chance to see him, and Klay looks great. And he's anxious to play, so we're excited about that."

Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a top-flight title last season by comfortably finishing top of the Premier League.

After coming agonisingly close numerous times in the three decades since their most recent success, the Reds finished at the summit with an incredible 99 points.

The Merseyside club had hardly been starved of major trophies in that time, having won a couple of European Cups, three FA Cups and various other honours.

But for plenty of Liverpool supporters - many of whom would never have witnessed their side winning the title - last season's coronation was seen as a hoodoo being lifted.

Jurgen Klopp is now tasked with making it back-to-back triumphs, though, as history shows, it is not always so easy to push on from such a success.

Here, we look at some previous examples of what happened next after other sports teams ended their long-running title droughts.


Chicago Cubs (MLB) - 108-year wait

The Cubs ended MLB's longest-such drought by winning the World Series in 2016 with an 8-7 Game 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings.

The following season did not turn out to be quite so memorable as, after winning the division title, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the League Championship Series.


Chicago White Sox (MLB) - 88-year wait

Not quite as long a wait as their city rivals, but a painful one all the same. The White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four games for their third World Series championship in 2005.

They finished third in the American League Central a year later with a record of 90-72 and are still on the hunt for their fourth crown.


Boston Red Sox (MLB) - 86-year wait

After years of falling just short, the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and vanquished the 'Curse of the Bambino' in the process.

Disappointment followed in 2005 as they finished second in the American League East before being swept by the White Sox in the American League Division Series.


Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) - 50-year wait

A more recent example of a team ending years of hurt, the Chiefs - led by the incredible Patrick Mahomes - recovered from 10 points behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV earlier this year.

Seven months on from that famous win, they will enter the much-anticipated season as the favourites of many to match their recent success, much like Liverpool.


Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) - 49-year wait

Patrick Kane was the hero for the Blackhawks, scoring four minutes and six seconds into overtime of their decisive Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Blackhawks lost several players due to salary cap restrictions and succumbed to the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in the first round of the following season's play-offs.

 
Golden State Warriors (NBA) - 40-year wait

A first NBA title in four decades for the Warriors was secured thanks to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals, Steve Kerr's team winning the last three games of the series.

Among other records, they set the best-ever regular season return of 73-9 the next campaign but went on to lose to the Cavs 4-3 in the Finals as their opponents gained revenge.


Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 36-year wait

The Colts got their hands on the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2006 season with a 29-17 Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears after ending the regular campaign with a record of 12-4.

Despite improving on their regular season record the folllowing year en route to winning a fifth straight AFC South divisional title, they lost to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Steve Kerr thanked Steve Nash for his work at the Golden State Warriors as he took up his first head coach role with the Brooklyn Nets.

Nash, a two-time MVP and Hall of Fame point guard as a player, had resisted the urge to move into full-time coaching until signing with the Nets on Thursday.

Prior to that, the 46-year-old was a consultant for the Warriors, coached by friend Kerr, for five seasons.

Golden State won two titles and made the Finals on four straight occasions in this stint before injuries ravaged their 2019-20 campaign.

Following news of Nash's new role in Brooklyn, Kerr took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the departing great and predict a promising future as a coach.

"Congratulations to @SteveNash and thank you for all your work over the years with the @warriors," Kerr wrote in a post that was shared by the Warriors.

"You are going to crush it in Brooklyn! @BrooklynNets."

Nash will again link up with Kevin Durant, a star of Kerr's Golden State team, as the 31-year-old prepares to return to action for the first time since the 2019 Finals.

Durant was injured as the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors and then departed for the Nets in free agency.

Stephen Curry offered to be Collin Morikawa's caddie after the American's US PGA Championship success.

Morikawa fired a six-under 64 in the final round at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to win his first major by two strokes on Sunday.

Golden State Warriors star Curry was in attendance and went to the 23-year-old's media conference afterwards.

After asking the first question, Curry – whose Warriors endured a poor 2019-20 NBA season and did not head to the bubble in Florida – followed up by asking to replace Morikawa's caddie J.J. Jakovac.

"I'm free for the next three months if you need a caddie or replacement. No, J.J. is a great guy, but if you need me, I'm available," Curry said.

Morikawa responded: "Perfect. I can't wait. I want to see your game."

Morikawa produced a brilliant final round to win his first major, becoming the third-youngest winner of the US PGA since World War II, behind only Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus.

A three-time winner on the PGA Tour, Morikawa was proud to be alongside the greats.

"It's great company. It's been crazy, because this entire start of my professional career, I see all the things comparing to Tiger [Woods] and doing all this and then Tiger is on a completely different level. I think we all know that," he said.

"But any time you're in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, no matter who it is, if you're in that conversation, you're doing something well.

"So to know that, yeah, what I've done, what I did my four years in college, was obviously worth it, but there's just that extra sense of feeling good in my heart, to finish out, get my business degree, graduate, come out here knowing I'm prepared, and knowing that it's possible.

"You know, when you feel you're ready, you're ready, but to be in the conversation with those guys, it's very special and yeah, you know, I'm ready for the next."

Draymond Green has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for comments made about Devin Booker's situation with the Phoenix Suns.

Appearing as an analyst on TNT, Golden State Warriors forward Green praised Booker for his performances since the NBA season restarted, before adding it was "not good for him" to be in Phoenix.

"It's great to see Book playing well, and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix. It's not good for him, it's not good for his career," Green said.

"They've got to get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere where he can play great basketball all the time and win, because he's that type of player."

In a statement released on Sunday, the NBA announced the comments violated the league's anti-tampering rule.

Green was indeed jokingly asked on the show if he was tampering, to which he replied: "Maybe."

"The NBA announced today that it has fined Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors $50,000 for violating the league's anti-tampering rule," the statement read.

"The fine is in response to statements Green made as an analyst on TNT on August 7 regarding the Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker.

"As announced prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, the NBA has adopted a stricter enforcement approach for conduct relating to tampering, salary cap circumvention and free agency timing rules, including with respect to the rule prohibiting player-to-player tampering."

The Suns defeated the Miami Heat on Saturday to stretch their winning streak to five games. They have a 31-39 record and sit 10th in the Western Conference as they aim to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Rory McIlroy and LeBron James produced memorable moments on June 19, a date that means much to England cricket fans but one their Australian counterparts will always want to forget.

McIlroy was magnificent as he won the 2011 U.S. Open, five years before James and the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a memorable triumph over the Golden State Warriors.

As for the Ashes rivals, England's batsmen were undoubtedly on top in 2018 as they put Australia's poor bowlers to the sword in Nottingham.

Take a look back at some of the memorable moments that have happened on this day through the years.

 

2011: Major breakthrough for McIlroy

Just over two months after enduring a last-round meltdown that ended his hopes of Masters glory at Augusta, McIlroy secured his first major - and in some style, too.

The Congressional course was no match for the Northern Irishman, who left the field fighting it out for second place - Jason Day would eventually finish a distant runner-up - and had the statisticians trawling through the records.

McIlroy's eight-shot triumph was the biggest margin of victory in the tournament's history, while his final score of 16 under was a record for strokes under par (a feat matched by Brooks Koepka in 2017). 

2016: Cavs stun Warriors to reign at last

Having returned for a second spell with Cleveland, the team that drafted him back in 2003, James finally steered the Cavs to glory in the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors appeared on course to retain their title when they led the best-of-seven series 3-1. LeBron, however, had other ideas, inspiring his team to rally from the brink of defeat to claim the city's first professional sports title in 52 years.

His triple-double was influential in deciding the outcome of Game 7, though his most notable play was 'The Block' on Andre Iguodala late in proceedings. Yet it was Kyrie Irving who made the key shot with just under a minute remaining, sinking a three-pointer that helped clinch a 93-89 triumph.

2018: Australia suffer as England run up the score

Going, going gone. England's one-day team made history in the third match of the series against Australia, smashing their way to a world record total in the 50-over format.

Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales both made centuries as the hosts amassed 481-6 at Trent Bridge. Captain Eoin Morgan weighed in with a rapid 67, helping England ease past their previous highest score of 444-3, made against Pakistan just under two years earlier at the same venue.

Australia could only muster 237 all out in reply to suffer their heaviest ever loss in ODI cricket in terms of runs (242 runs, to be precise). They would end up being swept in the series too, going down 5-0.

The Golden State Warriors and Tiger Woods both became champions again on June 16 in previous years, while Didier Deschamps' France also started their road to glory in Russia.

Steve Kerr's Warriors have dominated the NBA for much of the past half-decade, but five years ago they were trying to end a long championship drought.

Woods was already a multiple major winner by 2008, though his victory at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines while he essentially played on one leg was one of his most incredible successes.

Here we take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 16 in previous years.

 

2008 - Wounded Woods wins U.S. Open play-off

The 2008 U.S. Open had been due to finish on Sunday, June 15 but 72 holes could not separate Woods and veteran Rocco Mediate, so the two came back for 18 more on Monday.

Woods had a three-stroke lead through 10 holes but, clearly hampered by a serious knee injury, he was reeled in by the world number 158 and needed a birdie at the last to force a sudden death.

After 91 holes, Woods eventually emerged victorious to claim his 14th major title - four short of record-holder Jack Nicklaus' haul - though it would be another 11 years before he tasted major success again at the Masters.

It was later revealed Woods had played on with a double stress fracture and a torn anterior cruciate ligament, making his victory all the more remarkable.

2015 - Warriors end title drought

Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would become a regular theme, and it was Stephen Curry and Co. who came out on top in 2015, as they did in 2017 and 2018 too.

The 2015 series had been tied at 2-2 but a 104-91 Game 5 win gave Golden State the chance to end a 40-year wait for another title on June 16, which they did with a 105-97 Game 6 victory.

Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece, with the latter winning praise for his defensive display against LeBron James, who would need to wait another 12 months before he brought a title to the long-suffering Cleveland fans.

2018 - VAR helps France edge past Australia

They may have undoubtedly been the best team at Russia 2018, but France had an underwhelming start to a campaign that would end with them winning the World Cup.

Les Bleus were thankful for VAR when it was used - for the first time ever in a World Cup match - to award them a controversial penalty after Josh Risdon's tackle on Antoine Griezmann originally went punished in Kazan.

Griezmann duly dispatched the penalty but Australia pulled level through Mile Jedinak's spot-kick, only for France to claim a 2-1 win 10 minutes from time courtesy of an own goal from Aziz Behich.

June 12 was a day when Michael Jordan finally became an NBA champion, while the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors also enjoyed Finals celebrations.

Jordan became widely regarded as the greatest player of all time but had to endure a couple of heartbreaks before finally tasting glory with the Chicago Bulls in 1991.

Shaquille O'Neal made history with the Lakers on this day 18 years ago, while you only have to go back to 2017 for Kevin Durant's moment to shine.

The St. Louis Blues also had reason to celebrate 12 months ago as their long wait for Stanley Cup glory came to an end.


1991 - MJ and the Bulls earn first of six

Having been beaten twice in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls finally bested their rivals in the 1990-91 playoffs.

That led to a Finals series with the LA Lakers and Jordan was not about to miss his opportunity.

The Bulls wrapped it up in five with Jordan the fulcrum of their success en route to being named Finals MVP.

He scored 30 points and Scottie Pippen put up 32 as the Bulls defeated the Lakers 108-101 to win their first NBA title on this day. They would go on win six in eight years in one of sport's greatest dynasties.


2002 – 'Get ready for the Shaq attack!' Lakers rout Nets

It was a night of history for Shaq and Phil Jackson as the Lakers completed a 4-0 series of sweep of the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals.

Finals MVP Shaq put up 34 points in the 113-107 victory in New Jersey as the Lakers became the fifth team to win at least three straight NBA Championships.

With 145 points in the series, Shaq became the highest scorer in a four-game Finals, beating the 131 of Hakeem Olajuwon, which he achieved in 1995 for the Houston Rockets against O'Neal's Orlando Magic.

For legendary coach Jackson, it represented a ninth NBA title as a coach - levelling Red Auerbach's benchmark.


2017: Durant the Golden boy as James' Cavs beats

Just a year earlier, LeBron James had inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA championship from a 3-1 deficit to avenge their loss to the Golden State Warriors the season before.

But in the third year of their fourth straight battle in the NBA Finals, it was the Warriors who celebrated a 4-1 series triumph.

Kevin Durant, signed as a free agent at the start of the 2016-17 season, was named Finals MVP after averaging 35.2 points, including putting up 39 in Game 5.

James had 41 but was unable to prevent the Cavs slipping to a 129-120 loss.


2019: St Louis finally end Stanley Cup Blues

In a back-and-forth Stanley Cup Finals series, it all came down to Game Seven between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins.

But the Boston fans were left disappointed at TD Garden as St. Louis ran out 4-1 victors.

It marked the Blues' first Stanley Cup triumph in their 51st season as a franchise.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is in favour of minicamps for the teams who will not participate when the NBA season resumes after the COVID-19 crisis.

The NBA has been on hiatus since March due to the coronavirus pandemic but the league is set to restart at Walt Disney Resort near Orlando, Florida in July.

The NBA has confirmed plans for 22 teams to relaunch the 2019-20 campaign, with a tentative resumption date of July 31.

Golden State are among the eight franchises that will not feature at Disney World – the Warriors finishing their season with a league-worst 15-50 record in the Western Conference.

Kerr, whose Warriors were ravaged by injuries this season, hopes the NBA will allow the eight teams to conduct a minicamp ahead of the 2020-21 season.

"The league has been great about working with us on potential minicamps," Kerr told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday. "We definitely need to get our team together for a period of time.

"I don't know for how long, but we definitely need to be together and have some practice sessions. Given that 22 of the teams are going to be allowed to do so for minimum of a couple weeks' practice and a couple weeks' games, while the rest of us are not part of that, the league is sensitive to giving us the space that we're going to need. So we're still in touch with the league about what that means.

"I think what I would like as a coach is a couple weeks of practice at least, maybe two different blocks of a couple of weeks where we can bring guys in, health permitting and regulations permitting, of course, given the virus, but if we could have a couple different blocks where our players could come in, work with our training staff, we get them on the court, almost like an OTA [organised team activities] for an NFL team where we can install some things for next year, think about what we want to accomplish and get some practice sessions in. I think it would bridge the gap towards a more normal offseason and then lead us into next season in a healthier frame of mind."

"That's one reason why I think it's important to mix in a couple of minicamps so that we can knock off some of that rust or staleness whatever you want to call it," Kerr continued. "But who are we to complain? We complained enough about not having any time off over the last five years, so we can't now turn around and say we've got too much time off, so we're just going to take advantage of what we can and use the rest and use the time wisely.

"I know that our players, whenever we come in to prepare for next season, our players are going to be rarin' to go. I think in the end, it will be a positive step no matter how this plays out."

On the participation of Golden State's star Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Kerr added: "Oh, yeah. 100 per cent. I would not consider this voluntary workouts.

"Obviously, these are really unique circumstances, but given that we would be staring at a nine-month break, to be perfectly honest I would be shocked if any one of those three guys said to me, 'No, I don't want the work.' They all know they need the work. And we all need the work, so they'll be there."

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