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Barstool NBA Notebook: Steph Curry Returns To Practice, Rubio injured, Kawhi report and more

This is a new daily series I plan on launching with half the league in the offseason. The NBA offseason tends to be one of the more wild one at the professional level, so this will be your cheat sheet to see what’s going on. This will be everything from coaching changes and interviews, contract deals, trades, etc. We’ll avoid game recaps, but rather focus on the other aspects to the league and game. You’ll be able to find it all right here. If there’s something you want changed with this set up or any ideas, let me know @barstoolreags

Kawhi wants the Spurs to have lighter practice schedule

The Kawhi saga continues on as the report from Frank Isola now says that Kawhi wants Pop to lighten the Spurs practice schedule. While I know people will complain about this and call Kawhi soft, because that’s what people do, this isn’t uncommon. The Spurs are in a weird spot as I’ve talked about a bunch of times. They have some old dudes that are under contract i.e. Pau, and then there are guys they have to make decisions on i.e. Tony Parker. Kawhi coming off of injury and having to play the majority of minutes simply doesn’t want to overwork himself in practice. Yes, it’s a complaint that sounds big time, but it’s not out of the ordinary. Now, this report from Isola could come from anyone, but it’s now out there, so we’ll see what happens.

Mason Plumlee has surgery

Mason Plumlee underwent surgery earlier this week to fix a core-muscle injury. Now, I have no idea what that exactly means but it sounds pretty painful. That said Plumlee is expected to return to the court this summer and be ready for offseason workouts. Plumlee is actually a pretty important piece to the Nuggets as he comes in off the bench and is able to spell minutes due to his defense and rebounding. Not to mention he’s also under a decent contract as he signed a 3 year, $41 million deal last season after being traded from Portland. The Nuggets are competing for a playoff spot and expected to make the jump next season so having everyone at full health is going to be vital.

Steph Curry is back to full practice 

Steph Curry hasn’t played since March 23 after suffering a knee injury, but he has finally resumed full contact practice and is listed as questionable for Game 1 against New Orleans. Curry has battled a bunch of injuries this year as he’s missed time with an ankle and then the knee, which is part of the reason as to why the Warriors are the 2 seed in the West and not the 1 seed. The Pelicans have two good defensive guards in Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo, which makes Curry’s health that more important. The Warriors have been starting Andre Iguodala in his place and playing Quinn Cook more minutes. Iguodala is a good player, but throwing someone like Holiday on him is an advantage for the Pelicans – same with Rondo on Cook. Getting Curry and Thompson there together keeps both Holiday and Rondo more honest defensively and can’t gamble for steals.

Mike Budenholzer will receive $13 million guaranteed from Hawks

I probably should have put an asterisk next to this one because if Budenholzer takes another job that $13 million guaranteed shrinks. However, this is still a move I didn’t really understand from the Hawks. Budenholzer still had 2 years left on his contract and if a team really wanted him, they would have had to trade something in order to get him. The Hawks could have gotten say the Knicks No. 37 overall pick for Bud. That’s a pick that could land you someone like a Jevon Carter, Devonte’ Graham, Landry Shamet, Chemi Metu, etc. With the Hawks in complete rebuilding mode, why not take on another draft pick? Hell, even if it’s a draft and stash European player, do something there. The Knicks seem to be the likely landing spot for Budenholzer based on reports and his interviewing with them, but no moves have been made by the Knicks yet. Bud is a Pop assistant who won 60 games with the Hawks in his second season there. It wouldn’t shock me though if he ends up with the Bucks. Bud doesn’t want to tank and while the Knicks aren’t a good team they compete. What I mean by that is they aren’t actively trying to lose like the Hawks are. That limits Bud’s ability to coach, something that he hates. So going to the Knicks he at least has the ability to coach games to win. Going to the Bucks he has the ability to coach to win playoff series.

Ricky Rubio leaves game with hamstring injury

Ricky Rubio left last night’s game with what’s being reported as a strained hamstring. With the Jazz advancing to play the Rockets, this is going to be worth watching, because Rubio will go up against Chris Paul in the semifinals. Rubio was fantastic in the series against the Thunder, especially once after he settled in following game 1. Rubio averaged 16.8/8.6/7.8 splits in the series against the Thunder and was somehow overshadowed because Donovan Mitchell is that damn good. Rubio is expected to be reevaluated today or tomorrow.

Jimmy Butler talks about his love for Chicago

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times had an interview with Jimmy Butler where he talked about his love for Chicago and was pretty open about the chance of returning there. Now, this is important because Butler is a free agent in 2019 and the Bulls could have a core at that time to where Butler may want to return and win. The Bulls right now are building around Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine. They also add a top-10 pick in this year’s draft, which means they could be adding a Michael Porter Jr., Mo Bamba or someone like Trae Young. The Bulls are also expected to have a ton of cap space during that summer when Butler is a free agent so they could bring in some other missing pieces with him. It’s not all the way out there to think Butler back to the Bulls as a real thing.