Bob Myers

Warriors Rumors: Curry, Klay, Wiseman, Oubre, More

Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22, but he’ll be eligible to sign an extension once the new league year begins in August. And Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers told reporters today that he’s “pretty confident” the two sides will get something done, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

Curry is earning a $45.78MM salary next season. Because that amount is technically over the maximum salary, he could only get a 5% raise for the first year of an extension, rather than the usual 20% that veterans are eligible for. Still, that would put him in line for a maximum extension worth a staggering $215MM over four years on a deal that would cover his age 34-37 seasons. It remains to be seen if the Warriors will go quite that high, but after the season Curry just had, the team isn’t likely to low-ball him.

Myers also told reporters today that Curry’s impressive run down the stretch of the 2020/21 season occurred despite a hairline fracture in his tailbone.

Small hairline, but as I’ve been told the pain was coming more from a contusion,” Myers said (Twitter link via Slater).

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • According to Slater (Twitter link), Myers sounded skeptical today that Klay Thompson will be ready to go by opening night in 2021/22. Thompson’s Achilles tear occurred last November, so he won’t be a full year removed from the injury by the time the season starts, says Slater, noting that the idea is to ease the veteran swingman back into action.
  • Myers said the hope is for James Wiseman to be recovered from his knee surgery in time for training camp, adding that he expects the big man to be on the team next season and doesn’t want to trade him. I think he can be helpful in the future and in the present,” Myers said of 2020’s No. 2 overall pick (Twitter links via Slater).
  • Myers said today that he believes the Warriors’ roster is in need of more veterans (Twitter link via Slater). When asked about specific team needs, Myers mentioned a floor-spacing big man, a play-making guard, and more shooting, noting that he’d like any free agent additions to have some playoff experience (Twitter links via Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Addressing Kelly Oubre‘s free agency, Myers said he hopes the veteran forward is back and said Oubre has made it clear “he’d like to be here.” However, Myers cautioned that he can’t predict what the market will look like and added that Oubre would have to be comfortable with a bench role (Twitter links via Slater and ESPN’s Nick Friedell).

Warriors’ Myers Talks Curry, Payroll, Oubre, Draft

The Warriors and Stephen Curry discussed a contract extension last offseason, when Curry was eligible to tack on three years to the two seasons still left on his deal. However, the two sides ultimately didn’t reach an agreement, opting to put those talks off for at least another year, as president of basketball operations Bob Myers told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

“It was just one of those things, let’s just talk about it,” Myers said. “It was such a rushed season and preseason … and with what was going on and dealing with Klay (Thompson’s Achilles injury) and all the things we had going on. … We just very congenially said, ‘Let’s talk about it next season.'”

As Kawakami notes, when the 2021/22 season begins, Curry will be eligible to add four seasons to his remaining one. That extra year could be important to the two-time MVP, who recently turned 33.

“In his mind, the length matters,” Myers said. “It wasn’t contentious. Nobody was upset. It was just, ‘Hey, let’s talk about this at the end of next season.’ And I think that probably meant everybody feels good about the situation. No one was feeling badly about it.”

While it’s no guarantee that the Warriors will offer Curry four fully guaranteed maximum-salary years when they revisit talks this offseason, such a deal would be an incredibly lucrative one, worth more than $215MM over four seasons.

Myers touched on a few other topics of note during his conversation with Kawakami. Here are some of the highlights:

On whether he expects Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to continue approving massive payrolls and tax bills:

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work for Joe and Peter, where winning has always been the No. 1 goal and the No. 1 mission in how we’ve moved forward in all our decisions. But at the same time, it’s not ‘spend recklessly.’ This year, we haven’t or didn’t use the ($9.3MM disabled player exception), haven’t used it yet. Didn’t find a reason to use it, didn’t feel like it was worth it to use it.

“Joe has always (said) to me, when the question has been asked, ‘Do you want to do this?’ The response from him has been, ‘Does this help us win?’ We’ll see when the time comes, if it’s a move that Joe thinks makes a lot of sense and economic ramifications are there but worth it, he’ll usually do it. But again, not to no end, not to a $400MM payroll or something of that nature.”

On Kelly Oubre‘s comments suggesting he wouldn’t want to come off the bench next season if he re-signs with the Warriors:

“Obviously, (head coach) Steve (Kerr) had to speak to (Andre) Iguodala about coming off the bench, a very, very accomplished player. And when you win, everybody seems content and happy. But I have no problem with players that want to start. They all want to start and they probably should feel that. I don’t think that’s an issue. I don’t think that prevents a guy from signing, if he wants to be in a certain situation, if he feels the money is fair, commensurate with what he deserves.”

On the Warriors’ 2021 draft strategy, and the top-three protected Timberwolves first-rounder the team controls:

“If we do end up getting a couple picks and the Minnesota pick does convey, that’s going to be an attractive thing in a trade or an attractive thing to look at. Because it’s rare that you have, if we do get the Minnesota pick and our pick, to have picks kind of in that high range, multiple picks. We’ll see. When that time comes, we’ll look at drafting, we’ll look at trading, we’ll look at everything on the table.”

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Oubre, Myers, Curry

Warriors rookie center James Wiseman wasn’t permitted to practice Wednesday and may not be eligible to play tonight after missing a COVID-19 test during the All-Star break, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. A source tells Anthony Slater of The Athletic that Wiseman is expected to be cleared as long as he continues to test negative (Twitter link).

“It was a mistake,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He just forgot. It’s disappointing because he could have used the practice tonight. And we needed him out there. So it’s disappointing that he made the mistake.”

Players are required to undergo daily testing and are given two opportunities, one in the morning and one at night. The requirements have been in place since Wiseman entered the league.

“Every practice we have is crucial, but especially the ones where we can actually get some work in,” Kerr said. “The (first) practice after the All-Star break is always an important one because you’ve got to blow it out. You’ve got to get your legs back underneath you. You also have to get your mind right.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Getting past the feeling of needing to impress his new team has helped Kelly Oubre turn around his first season with Golden State, writes Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. Oubre struggled with his shot during his first few games with the Warriors, making just two of his first 30 three-point attempts, but he shot 43% from beyond the arc in February while averaging 20.1 PPG. “When I first got here, to the Warriors, I was feeding into all the pressure of, the salary-cap stuff, the contract year,” Oubre said. “You know, the new team that I would really love to make this a home for me in the future. I was kind of putting too much pressure onto myself.”
  • General manager Bob Myers wants to keep Golden State in title contention for as long as Stephen Curry remains in his prime, relays Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. Myers talked about the need to maximize the rest of Curry’s peak years during a radio interview on Wednesday. “What’s your responsibility? It’s to help him win a championship, to put the best players around him that you can,” Myers said. “So we try to do that, and I think for a stretch, we did. … And now we say, ‘How do we keep doing that?’ And it never was easy then, and it’s not easy now, but — we don’t ever have it all figured out.”
  • Kerr promises changes to the rotation when the second half of the season begins tonight, Poole tweets. Although Kerr wasn’t specific, Poole believes the new look will involve the backcourt.

Warriors Notes: Myers, Draft, Resumption, Mullin

The Warriors project to have the best odds whenever the draft lottery takes place, but they aren’t committed to keeping their pick. General manager Bob Myers confirmed to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area that trying to trade for a more established player remains an option.

“Yeah, we’re going to consider all that,” Myers said. “Now, I don’t know if the headline is going to be that we’re trading our pick. So, be clear that I said ‘consider.’”

Golden State is aiming to get back into title contention after a lost season due to injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Myers admits there’s not a “transformational” player at the top of this year’s draft and Poole states that there’s little difference in talent level between the top pick and No. 5, which is the farthest the Warriors can drop in the lottery. Adding to the uncertainty, the traditional pre-draft evaluation process has been disrupted because of COVID-19 concerns.

The current front office has never been in position to make a top-five pick, so the Warriors are reaching out to other franchises, including the Hawks, whose GM, Travis Schlenk, was a former Golden State executive.

“He said there’s a lot of activity, that it depends on the traffic and how open you are to doing something,” Myers said. “The higher you are, the more optionality you have to make moves. The thing about trading or not is you want to make the best decision possible. The best position might be to draft, or it might be a trade. You don’t know until you see what you can do and what offers you have.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • It’s not certain that Golden State and the other teams at the bottom of the league will participate in a resumption of the season, but many people in the organization believe it would be beneficial, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. A few practices and games could provide a mini-camp to help prepare the team for the start of next season.
  • Former Warriors star Chris Mullin believes The Last Dance documentary sheds light on how impressive Golden State’s five-run in the NBA Finals was, relays Alex Didion of NBC Sports. “I think it puts into context how great this last five-year period the Warriors have been on,” Mullin said in an interview on KNBR. “That’s a hard thing to endure man, and the way they did it, they did it with some grace and some class and some dignity. I know (Warriors coach) Steve (Kerr) didn’t let the cameras in, but I think as years go by, we’re gonna look back and go ‘Man, that Warriors team of the last five years was a special, special time here in the Bay Area.’”
  • The Warriors have almost no chance of reaching the 70-game threshold for their regional sports network, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Of the 65 games they have played, nine have been exclusive to national TV, so they would need 14 more to meet the target.

Warriors Notes: Myers, Durant, Cook, Free Agents

“The Last Dance” documentary series is making an impression around the NBA, particularly with the Warriors, who can identify with the challenges of trying to string together championships, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. One of those challenges is attempting to maintain camaraderie, which became an issue on the way to the 2017/18 title, admits general manager Bob Myers.

“The second time with Kevin (Durant) it felt like, ‘Well, we just did what we were supposed to do, and great job,'” Myers said. “It wasn’t joy. I’m sure a lot of people felt differently. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. I think there’s just a weight to everything. And so I’m sure (the Bulls) felt that weight of everything, weight of relationships.”

Golden State posted 67-15 and 58-24 records and won back-to-back championships during its first two seasons with Durant. But before the quest for a three-peat was derailed by injuries in last year’s Finals, there were frequent reports that Durant was looking to leave the organization and an infamous on-court incident with Draymond Green.

“To be honest, (the documentary) is just confirmation of what I was saying to our team all of last year and 2018,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The whole messaging for the year was based on my experience with Chicago and feeling that level of fatigue (and) emotional toll that had been over the previous four years. … And so watching this now is just a reminder of how difficult it is to sustain that kind of run.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle talked to a few Warriors players who are too young to remember the Michael Jordan era. Several took note of Jordan’s intense leadership style in the documentary, saying it was reminiscent of Green. “When (Jordan) just said he never asked anybody to do anything that he wouldn’t do, that really stuck with me,” Marquese Chriss said. “You want your leader to lead by example, but also be vocal at the same time. It honestly reminded me a bit of Draymond.”
  • Even though the Warriors dropped to the bottom of the West this season, the team’s culture continues to be a strong selling point with players, observes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay AreaAlec Burks and Glenn Robinson III both expressed disappointment over being traded in February, and Quinn Cook said it was important to him to sign with the Warriors in 2017. “When Golden State called, I told my agent, ‘I didn’t care if I never play,” said Cook, now with the Lakers. “I don’t have to play. I just want to be a part of the organization. I want to learn every single day from those guys.’”
  • Grant Liffman of NBC Sports Bay Area identifies 11 free agents that the Warriors should target, even though they will be over the cap and can only offer minimum contracts and the taxpayer mid-level exception.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Curry, Chriss, Luxury Tax

Andrew Wiggins‘ first game with the Warriors may have eased the doubts from those who wonder if he will be a good fit for the organization, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Acquired Thursday in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Wiggins posted 24 points and five steals Saturday night. Coming to Golden State gives him a chance to change the arc of his career after five-and-a-half seasons with the Timberwolves.

“We lost a lot in Minnesota,” Wiggins said. “So coming here, being part of a winning culture, it’s different. Losing’s never fun. Being here, you can tell by everyone’s attitude, everyone’s approach, everything that’s everywhere, they’re winners. That’s something I’ve wanted to be my whole career.”

Slater points out that one of the benefits of making the Russell deal now instead of hoping for a better return this summer is that Wiggins has 30 games to adjust to the Warriors’ style of play. Ideally, he will evolve into a new version of Harrison Barnes, who was able to play power forward in brief stretches next to Draymond Green at center.

“A huge part of this trade is we know Andrew is a better positional fit for us than D’Angelo was,” coach Steve Kerr said. “… To be able to get a valuable wing player is not easy. There’s very few of them in the draft according to scouts and very few of them available in free agency. Wings are hard to come by. Just by bringing in a positional fit, a guy who has a lot of talent, I think the move makes sense.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Stephen Curry confirmed on last night’s broadcast that he’s targeting the first week of March to return from his broken hand (video from NBA.com). Curry played just four games before suffering the injury in late October. He called his rehab “a work in progress.”
  • Marquese Chriss gave himself flexibility by signing for two years rather than three, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Chris will be just 24 years old when he becomes a free agent in 2021.
  • After reshaping the roster at the trade deadline, general manager Bob Myers talked about the importance of getting under the luxury tax line for this season (video link from Slater). “To see the numbers of being a repeater the level we would’ve been, the numbers got pretty high,” Myers said. “If we would’ve drafted in top five … the (taxpayer mid-level exception) … the traded player exception, all of a sudden you’re talking high 200 (millions).”

Latest On Knicks’ Potential Front Office Search

The Knicks are planning to make a run at top Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via his latest newsletter) that there are many around the league who believe Ujiri can be lured to New York.

Even though the Knicks have been laughable on the court, the prestige of the franchise and of winning it all in the arguably the greatest city in the world carries weight with top executives in the NBA. Entering Madison Square Garden’s latest rehabilitation project and coming out with a championship remains a unique and coveted prize.

Regardless of whom New York lands, the franchise’s next architect will face his share of challenges. It’s not certain if owner James Dolan is finally ready to give his top executive something that resembles “real autonomy,” Stein writes. Even Phil Jackson, who was relieved of his duties before his contract was up, didn’t get nearly enough freedom to make internal moves that could have impacted the culture. Stein adds that Dolan has given zero indication that he will sell the team.

In addition to Ujiri, Stein mentions R.C. Buford (Spurs), Bob Myers (Warriors) and Donnie Nelson (Mavericks) as names to keep an eye on when it comes to a potential top executive search in New York.

Warriors Notes: Green, Durant, Thompson, Iguodala

Draymond Green addressed last year’s altercation with Kevin Durant on a podcast by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that also includes Warriors GM Bob Myers. Green, who was suspended for one game after the November incident, said he began to question his future with the franchise and his standing with Myers.

“I started to tell myself in my mind, ‘Wow, [Myers is] flipping on me,'” Green said. “And it just felt like, ‘Wow, OK, is this not the guy I’ve known for all these years? Is he turning on me?’ And I started to tell myself all of these things, and then everybody’s like, ‘Oh my God, the Warriors sided with Kevin Durant.’ That was the hardest thing for me, because a lot of people don’t understand me. Bob does.”

Green added that he had to get over his “stubbornness” and accept that he mishandled the situation. He refused to apologize to Durant after being told to do so by Myers and coach Steve Kerr, and didn’t offer an apology “until I came to grips with myself.”

“What people don’t know — which is so hard to know, which requires time and energy — is Kevin and Draymond probably will be the closest guys,” Myers said. “They’re going to be friends for their whole life like this. … In the aftermath when they spoke, they laid it out for each other and they’re like, OK, I got ya. Like, now I know where you’re coming from, from both sides. But that could have happened earlier and that would’ve prevented it.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Green is preparing to play the entire season without Klay Thompson, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Kerr said yesterday that Thompson seems “unlikely” to return from an ACL injury, although the team hasn’t made any official announcement. Green said that it will be an “added bonus” if the All-Star guard can get back on the court by the end of the season.
  • Marc Stein of The New York Times believes Andre Iguodala will sign with the Warriors next summer and finish his career with Golden State. Iguodala remains in limbo with the Grizzlies, where the Warriors traded him to open cap space. Memphis is hoping to get something in return for the former Finals MVP and has been reluctant to discuss a buyout.
  • Rookie Eric Paschall has a chance to get consistent minutes, writes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. Paschall was used at center and power forward during the preseason, but his best opportunity may come at small forward. “Most guys when they come in, they’re just not ready for this level of strength and force that exists in the game,” Kerr said. “Eric’s ready for all that. He’s gonna play a lot this year. We’re really excited about him.”

Warriors Notes: Green, Russell, Spellman, Curry

Warriors forward Draymond Green is glad he didn’t have to deal with all the speculation regarding free agency in what would have been his walk year, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Green, who could have been one of the top free agents in a diluted market next summer, averted that issue by signing a four-year extension worth nearly $100MM in August. “I didn’t myself want to come into the season with all that,” he said. “Kind of becomes a headache.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • The D’Angelo RussellKevin Durant sign-and-trade was nerve-wracking and challenging due to time constraints, GM Bob Myers said in a radio interview with 95.7 The Game (hat tip to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area). “So for that to happen, obviously one thing, Kevin has to leave,” Myers said. “Two, you got to get Brooklyn to cooperate and Kevin to cooperate in a four-hour window of time. You need D’Angelo to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll come.” He had other offers. A lot of times that’s like a three-team trade, they just don’t happen.”
  • Forward Omari Spellman wasn’t immediately thrilled at the prospect of moving from the Hawks to the Warriors, Slater adds in another tweet. “That was extremely tough for me,” he said. “But on the flip side, an organization that has been, let’s be honest, the best team in the league for like the last four, five years decided to take a chance on me.” Golden State traded center Damian Jones and a second-round pick to acquire Spellman.
  • Stephen Curry isn’t interested in any load management plans, Logan Murdock of NBCS Authentic tweets. Concerning his workload, Curry quipped, “48 minutes a game for all 82.”

Western Notes: Green, D’Antoni, Wallace, Livingston

In the wake of Team USA’s flop in the FIBA World Cup, Warriors forward Draymond Green wants to play in next year’s Olympics, he said in a CNBC interview relayed by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Brian Witt. Green anticipates that many other stars who skipped this year’s event will also want to wear the Team USA uniform in Tokyo.

“I do hope to play, and I think a lot of guys will want to play,” the Warriors’ three-time All-Star said. “The schedule this year was a little treacherous with the games that were in America, and also the travel to Australia, which is why I think a lot of guys dropped out. You know, a long ways to China.”

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Despite failing to reach an agreement in extension talks, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta believes Mike D’Antoni will remain head coach of the team beyond this season, as he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. D’Antoni is entering the final year of his four-year contract. Extension talks were a hot topic in May and June but nothing got done. Fertitta remains undeterred. “I think Mike D’Antoni’s going to be coaching here for a long time,” he said.
  • Unlike last season, Timberwolves guard Tyrone Wallace does not have any guaranteed money in his contract, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Wallace had a $300K partial guarantee if he remained on the roster through September 12 a year ago. Wallace’s $1,588,231 salary this season won’t become fully guaranteed unless he’s on the roster through January 10. Wallace, who came off the bench in 62 games with the Clippers last season, is the No. 3 point guard on the roster behind Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier, and may ultimately be the odd man out on opening night, since Minnesota has 15 other players on fully guaranteed deals.
  • Warriors GM Bob Myers called Shaun Livingston’s story “one of the most inspirational in the history of professional sports” in a statement released by the club. Livingston announced his retirement on Friday. “What he accomplished after suffering so many trials and tribulations early in his career is a true testament to who he is as a person, which has always been characterized by tremendous class, grace and professionalism,” the statement read in part.