Warriors’ Rick Welts Stepping Down As Team President

Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts will step away from his role with the franchise at the end of the 2020/21 season, he and the team announced today in a press release. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Welts, who worked for the SuperSonics, the Suns, and the NBA league office before arriving in Golden State, oversaw the organization’s business operations while Bob Myers served as the president of basketball operations. A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Welts became the highest-ranking executive in men’s professional team sports to publicly acknowledge he was gay when he did so in 2011.

“Simply put, Rick Welts played a transformational role in creating the modern NBA during his more than 40 years as a pioneering league and team executive,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “His extraordinary vision, leadership and humanity have defined his Hall of Fame career, which has set the standard of excellence in the sports industry. I had the tremendous good fortune to learn about the business of the NBA and its teams directly from Rick in my early years at the league office and have always appreciated his friendship and generosity.”

The plan is for Welts to remain with the Warriors in an advisory role. The club expects to name a new president within the next week or so.

Here’s more out of Golden State:

  • The Warriors announced today that they’re on track to begin welcoming fans back to Chase Center on April 23. They’ll be able to fill the arena up to 35% of its total capacity for the final nine home games of the season.
  • Anthony Slater and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic teamed up to break down a handful of draft options for a Warriors squad that could end up with two lottery picks in 2021. Slater and Vecenie wonder if Golden State might prioritize players who can contribute right away, assuming the team doesn’t trade away one or both picks. The Athletic’s duo identifies Davion Mitchell and Corey Kispert as a couple lottery prospects who might fit that bill.
  • In case you missed it, the Warriors are getting back up to the required minimum of 14 players (not counting two-ways) by signing Gary Payton II to a 10-day contract.
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