NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Steph Curry's Injury Rehab, Jerami Grant, More

Blake SchusterAnalyst IJuly 4, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 5: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game on March 5, 2020 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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As the NBA considers putting together a second bubble environment this summer for the eight teams that didn't qualify for the restart, it's worth wondering just how many players would be able, or allowed, to participate in the event.

An unnamed member of the Cleveland Cavaliers doubted many veteran teammates would show up to Chicago for the proposed event. It's equally worth wondering whether Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry would participate, either.

According to ESPN's Jackie MacMullen on the Hoop Collective podcast, Curry wouldn't have even been allowed to play had Golden State qualified for the Orlando, Florida, restart.

"I was told unequivocally by people at Golden State, if Golden State came back [to play in Orlando] they weren't gonna let Steph Curry step foot on the floor," MacMullan said (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt). "The reason they were worried about Steph Curry was because they didn't feel that he had played enough to come back."

Curry only appeared in five games this season. He had to sit for five months after his hand required surgery to repair his second metacarpal bone. He played just one game post-rehab, a March 5 loss to the Toronto Raptors, but sat out the next two games before the league was forced to go on hiatus on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Given the low stakes of the proposed Chicago bubble, it may not make much sense for Curry to risk injury when he could just as easily work out with team specialists back home in San Francisco.

As for the teams heading to Orlando, keep an eye on the Denver Nuggets and specifically how they use forward Jerami Grant down the stretch.

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Grant and Paul Millsap are slated to become free agents after the season, and their play over the next few weeks may dictate who the Nuggets try to sign first.

As Mike Singer of the Denver Post noted, Grant is winning that battle so far:

"Before the season shutdown, there were games when [head coach Mike] Malone opted to play Grant in the closing moments—a potential window into the future. (Although the Nuggets would never say so).

"For Millsap, it might come down to an acknowledgment that the Nuggets have paid him $90 million over three years, and he's missed 77 games over that time. He's not even close to a $30 million player. At this point, he'd likely command a third of that in free agency.

"Grant is their obvious solution, but I've heard chatter that other teams may have their eye on him as well. My educated guess is the Nuggets prioritize retaining Grant."

Through 64 games this season, the 26-year-old Grant is averaging 11.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.2 minutes per game.

Another player who isn't on the move yet but continues to frequently come up in trade rumors is Cleveland's Kevin Love. While the big man remains a durable force in the frontcourt, his issues with the franchise have become impossible to ignore.

As Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor reported, little went right for the UCLA product off the court this year:

"Love clashed with [former head coach John] Beilein, grew frustrated with the team's lack of competitiveness and college environment, outwardly pouted when things turned acrimonious and wanted a trade.

"The five-time All-Star, who inked a four-year, $120 million contract shortly after LeBron James left for Los Angeles, didn't get his wish. He's still in Cleveland. But for how long?"

Instead of shipping Love out to a new franchise, the Cavs decided to trade for another big body in Andre Drummond at the deadline in February. Not only will that move take away touches from Love, but it does little to help rebuild a roster currently in last place in the Eastern Conference.

There's a chance Cleveland comes away with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, but if youth is the answer for the Cavs, it's fair to consider where that leaves the 31-year-old Love. His contract won't be easy to move, and his market may be dwindling.

Without a clear path forward, the five-time All-Star has every reason to feel frustrated.

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