Finals Roundup: Kerr, Warriors, Cavs, Barnes, West

An NBA general manager typically doesn’t need to confirm in the hours following a championship that his head coach will return for the following season, but in Steve Kerr‘s case, it wasn’t necessarily a sure thing — for health, rather than performance, reasons. However, despite Kerr’s back issues, Warriors general manager Bob Myers is confident that his head coach will be back on the bench for the 2017/18 season, as he tells Chris Haynes of ESPN.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he will return as the coach of this team,” Myers said after Game 5. “I’m confident we’ll have him back. Steve will be our coach.”

Kerr expressed a similar sentiment in a recent interview with Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News, suggesting that even if he wasn’t able to make it back to coach the Warriors in this year’s Finals, he’d be ready for opening night in the fall. Ultimately, Kerr returned to the sidelines in time to lead the Warriors to their second title in three years.

Here are a few more Finals-related odds and ends worth passing along:

  • Although it only took five games for the Warriors to dispatch of the Cavaliers, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue doesn’t believe there’s a “big gap”  between the two teams, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com details.
  • Within McMenamin’s piece, LeBron James acknowledged that the Warriors will “be around for a while,” but said he doesn’t think the Cavaliers are going anywhere either. “I know our front office is going to continue to try to put our franchise in a position where we can compete for a championship year in and year out,” James said. “Like I said, teams and franchises are going to be trying to figure out ways that they can put personnel together, the right group of guys together to be able to hopefully compete against [the Warriors].”
  • The Warriors are already massive favorites to win the 2018 NBA Finals, according to professional oddsmakers. “They’re going to be the highest favorite we’ve ever had going into a season, any team in any sport,” Jeff Sherman of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook tells David Purdum of ESPN.com.
  • The Cavaliers need to find a way to get younger and more athletic, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, who writes that the club’s bench is “a mess.”
  • After 14 NBA seasons, Matt Barnes finally has a championship under his belt, but he doesn’t plan to ride off into the sunset. According to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), Barnes said that he has no plans to retire and hopes to return to the Warriors.
  • Two years ago, David West left $11MM on the table by turning down his option with the Pacers to chase a ring. Dakota Crawford of The Indianapolis Star takes a look at the culmination of West’s hunt for a championship.
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20 thoughts on “Finals Roundup: Kerr, Warriors, Cavs, Barnes, West

  1. Z-A

    If you’re David West, is the ring worth being the 8th or 9th guy off the bench? He was a starter, still probably could be a starter on some teams. Or if the Warriors or Cavs are going to win anyway, would it be pointless playing anywhere else?

    • formerlyz

      I think it’s definitely worth it for him, considering everything he said leading up to it.

      • Z-A

        10 Mins 4.2 Points… I know he’s been pining for a ring for a while, but still it’s like James Jones getting rings with he Heat. Somewhat inconsequential. I look at it like ‘I got a ring’ yea and Mark Madsen has 2. Like I have a HS football state championship ring, but it was my sophomore year and I played a limited amount, it has much much less value to me than if I played an integral role.

        • InvalidUserID

          He can say he’s a champion. It may not seem worth it to you but it does to him. Different strokes for different folks…

        • liamsfg

          But you undervalue him and present stats that mean nothing. He was a factor especially late in the season when Durant was out. In game 5 he brought that fire the Warriors needed to win.

          He is the better of the 3 big men for the Warriors (Pachulia, Mcgee) and would be a great asset for next season.

          • I actually think that McGee is the best fit for the Warriors if they can increase his minutes. Good rim protection, runs the floor, and can take advantage of Curry/Thompson/Durant breaking down the defense with lobs. McGee is smart enough to cut to the basket when his defender leaves him to help, and the Warriors offense causes defenses to constantly provide help.

        • He’s at the point in his career where his contribution to the team is going to be limited. At this point he’s a rotation big who could, at best, average 20ish minutes a game. Him having a bigger role on another team is unlikely to affect his career outlook/legacy and I think he said he’s made enough money in his career so what else is there to do besides retire or chase rings/mentor young players?

        • formerlyz

          David West was actually pretty important for them at the 5 though, and he’s had a great career. Luke he said, he wanted to experience the highest level, and he got to do that and play a role. Now he can call himself a champion. Guy gave up like 18-20 million for ut. He deserves to bask

  2. formerlyz

    If the Cavs are going to improve their roster, they’ll have to do something drastic b/c they have so much money on their books and essentially no way to really add anything…put together a few random proposals that will likely never happen, but it’s stuff like that which seems like the only way they can really do anything

    Probably not something Phoenix would do, but how about Tristan Thompson, Jr smith, Iman shimpert, Channing Frye, 2021 Cavs 1st round pick, and rights to Cedi Osman to Phoenix for Bledsoe, Chandler, Jared Dudley, Leandro Barbosa and Toronto 2017 2nd round pick. I feel like it’s an asset light on Cleveland’s side going back to Phoenix b/c they’re moving Bledsoe

    Or what about a deal with portland. Like the same pieces going out from cleveland for Crabbe, Turner, Leonard, and Ezili…

    Or the lakers for Deng, Mozgov, Clarkson, and Nick Young…

    Or some sort of deal with the Clippers with Kevin love, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Cavs 2021 1st rounder, Cedi Osman for DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Austin rivers, Wesley Johnson.

    That last one is probably the worst one. They all might be bad. Just trying to see what kind of drastic things theyd have to do to change their roster. They definitely aren’t going to be able to open up money, so they have to deal big contracts for big contracts somehow. Would be a lot easier if they still had that 2019 pock they sent to Atlanta

    • The Phoenix proposal isn’t that bad of an idea but there is probably too many moving pieces on both sides.

      The Portland proposal doesn’t do much for the Cavs cap wise (the money tied to Leonard, Crabbe, and Turner is roughly the same amount tied up to Thompson, Smith, Shumpert, and Frye) and doesn’t do much talent wise outside of adding a playmaker in Turner and a more efficient shooter in Crabbe (at the expense of him not having the same big offensive output capability of Smith while Thompson and Frye are both better than Leonard).

      The Lakers proposal frees up money, but is a huge downgrade in talent.

      I think its more likely that they package one or two players at a time for some sort of cap relief than package them all into one big trade.

      • formerlyz

        They have to figure out a way to move Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye. Then if they can move JR and Shumpert and replace those guys, that can help as well, even though they do currently need them. If they need to be moved to clear money, they need to be moved..

        Cavs desperately need to improve defensively at the guard spot/on the wing/at the 5. Nobody can deny that they made a lot of moves this year, totally disregarding defense, including randomly letting DeAndre Liggins go right before the end of the season. That was very significant for them…they need to get more athletic somehow. I just don’t really know what they can really do

        The portland thing is really more of a salary for salary, but add a younger shooter/scorer in Crabbe that maybe they can figure out a way to use his length to help them on defense (even though that’s his issue right now). Turner gives them another playmaker around their shooters, but he also can rebound, and I think he could be a helpful defender for them on the wing next to Lebron. Leonard pretty much is money they have to take for the money sent out, and he potentially replaces Frye as a shooting big on the bench, but he at least has some interior usefulness at times. It also cuts their luxury tax bill when they cut Ezili, or if he can actually be healthy, it gives them a rim protecting big they desperately need. Like you said, this is pretty much not earth shaking, but at least some of that bad money going to Thompson and Frye go to more useful pieces

        As for the Laker deal, they would use Deng at the 4 and small ball 5 at times, and I think he would do well in that role for them. Nick Young replaces JR, and Clarkson gives them a combo guard they can use as a playmaker off the bench or next to Kyrie in smaller lineups. Obviously Clarkson doesn’t help the defense, but at least gives them some more dynamic offense. Mozgov is useful as a end of bench 5, the way he was a couple of years ago, since they need rim protection, and he is mostly for the salary the Lakers take on

        Like i said. I don’t know that any of this does much, but they have to figure out something. I don’t know what it is or what it will be, but I’m just throwing stuff out there lol. All I know is they can’t just come back the same. Even if they have to move Love to move the other guys/open up money to make additions and improve their defense and rest of their roster, that has to be in consideration

  3. DarkGhost

    What the cavs need to do for next season is improve there defense drastically. As we saw from games 3-5 the cavs offense with Irving James and love can keep pace with the warriors offense even though game 5 ended up being a double digit victory the cavs got it down to 4 in the 4th quarter. But through out this series they consistently gave up wide open layups and dunks through out the game. What got them back into the series in 2016 and why they came back had a lot to do with them getting physical and really bearing down on defense. This year they tried to be too much like the warriors by adding korver, and Williams. The way to beat the warriors is not to try and out run or shoot them. The reason the warriors during this great run have had their struggles against teams like the spurs (before kawai got hurt that is) and Memphis is because they slow the pace of the game down and they get very physical with the warriors. The warriors in general but especially steph has a history of not playing nearly as well when the game is physical.

    • InvalidUserID

      Yup. The teams that can be physical and grind the game like Memphis can beat the Warriors and slow them down. They thrive off the transition game and if you can grind them, it wears them down.

    • liamsfg

      I think the Cavs should definitely remodel the bench if possible and not only prepare to beat the Warriors but the Spurs as well. Those are the two power houses that stand in Cleveland’s way.

    • Definitely agree although I do think that Korver can be a nice fit as his shooting can make up for his defense/athleticism in an off-the-bench role. Deron Williams was a terrible fit for them as he is no longer a reliable offensive option (even in short intervals) and is a liability defensively. They should look to keep Derick Williams (if he signs for cheap) as he could provide them with good energy and physicality while also providing decent size off the bench if they can work on his defense. But they do need to rework almost their entire bench. They need another athletic rim protector/rebounder behind Thompson, younger 3-and-D wings, and someone who can run the offense so Kyrie/LeBron don’t have to all game.

    • formerlyz

      everyone always talks about coming back from 3-1, and LeBron was amazing to do that, but there were several extenuating factors involved. Andre Iguodala played hurt and missed time, Draymond got suspended for Game 5, GS was still winning that one until Bogut also went down with an injury, Ezili played hurt for some time, Harrison Barnes was terrible, Klay Thompson was terrible, GS stopped posting those guys, and Shaun Livingston, in half court situations and played way more iso than they have in 3 years….all of that had to happen for them to win.

    • formerlyz

      This is a post I made after game 3, so that’s why it seems like I’m talking like the series is still ongoing lol, but it pretty much sums up the type of stuff youre talking about

      With the Cavs defense being as bad as it is, I didn’t understand why they got rid of DeAndre Liggins at the end of the season. He could have given them much needed length and athleticism and versatility on the wing defensively in this series. Not that I’m saying he’d be the difference maker for them, but he could have helped LeBron on that side of the ball….

      Cavs need to stop trying to play that gambling style defense b/c they don’t have the athleticism to cover enough ground and rotate back, which has led to a bunch of open lanes to the rim, and later, open 3s. They need to try to stop letting everything be at GS pace. If they can keep guys in front of them on defense, and only rotate off certain players, that at least gives them a shot, unless GS just makes shots, in which case it doesn’t matter. On offense then, they need to go to LeBron and Love in the post, and slow the game down. Try to make it a half court game and get some easier looks. That doesn’t guarantee anything though b/c GS can play that style too, but it’s probably their best shot…

      There are a few different lineups they can try. I’d consider Kyrie, Shumpert, Richard Jefferson, LeBron, and Kevin Love to start the game. Love isn’t a good defender at the 5, but they don’t really have rim protection on this roster, and he doesn’t have to set the world on fire with his foot speed to outplay ZaZa (I thought he actually played much better defense as the series went on, so props to him for that, but the liabilities all over the floor were just too much)…JR, Deron Williams, and Tristan Thompson off the bench, with interchangeable time of Korver and Frye on the floor. That might balance the floor a little better for them. To be honest though, this is one of those things it’s hard to see them climbing past with this roster. I never really gave them a shot. Only gave them a game b/c of LeBron. Kyrie was amazing at times in the last 3 games, but they needed more from everyone on the other end, and Kyrie also had a few really questionable decision making situations in big moments

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