Peter Guber

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.”

And-Ones: NBA Owners Ranked, Tomjanovich, NCAA Tournament

ESPN concluded their management series with ownership rankings, citing the Spurs (Julianna Hawn Holt), Warriors (Joe Lacob, Peter Guber), and Celtics (Wyc Grousbeck) as teams with the best ownership in the league (article link). ESPN’s panel ranked owners in terms of “performance in guiding the franchise to overall on-court success, both in the short and long term.” To that end, it perhaps isn’t surprising to see the Kings (Vivek Ranadive) and Knicks (James Dolan) round out the list; two owners who have made unfortunate headlines for on-and-off the court stories this season.

More from around the game…

  • Rudy Tomjanovich, a five-time NBA All-Star and decorated head coach, wasn’t inducted into the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class. Several figures around the league were critical of Tomjanovich receiving the shaft, including former Rocket Calvin Murphy and Jeff Van Gundy. (Twitter links) In an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle, Jonathan Feigen chastised Hall of Fame voters who “inexplicably” snubbed Tomjanovich. “Tomjanovich, especially, deflected attention, not just in the way he downplayed his coaching contributions, but even in his coaching style that stripped away excess to get the ball simply and quickly to his best player, turning the Rockets from winners to champions,” Feigen writes. “The exclusion of Tomjanovich and others said nothing about their achievements, and everything about the secret panel’s failure.”
  • Tim Duncan‘s ex-adviser, Charles Banks, plans to admit financial misconduct from his business relationship with Duncan (Associated Press link). According to court paperwork, Banks will confess to misleading Duncan into obtaining $6MM in loans.
  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress provided an NBA prospect guide to the Final Four, naming South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell as the NCAA Tournament’s MVP thus far.
  • Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett will put his name in the NBA Draft but won’t hire an agent, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports (link). Per Patrick Brennan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bluiett is “certain to again seek out evaluations from industry experts on his likely draft stock.”

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Lakers, Vujacic

Warriors owner Peter Guber expressed regret Monday after sending an email that appeared to play on ethnic stereotypes, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports details. At least one team employee took offense, according to Spears. Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson is selling his stake in the Atlanta franchise after the discovery of an email he sent that contained racial overtones, and Hawks GM Danny Ferry is on indefinite leave of absence from the team after his racially charged comments. It remains to be seen if any such fallout with happen with Guber in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal that touched off heightened awareness around the league. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Extension-eligible Klay Thompson reiterated his desire to stay with the Warriors in comments to Michael Lee of The Washington Post, who notes Stephen Curry‘s verbal influence on the team’s decision to keep Thompson out of Kevin Love trade proposals. “It’s arguments either way if you make a move or what not, how your team is going to look and if it’s a good move or not,” Curry said to Lee. “Obviously, you know that other guy was pretty good, but when you have a core that’s continuing to get better, you got a lot of good chemistry, we fit together, it makes sense. And you want to fight for that. [Thompson is] nowhere near his ceiling.”
  • The Lakers aren’t planning to apply to have Steve Nash‘s salary wiped from their cap based on a medical retirement, GM Mitch Kupchak told reporters Monday, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times notes (Twitter link). Nash hasn’t announced his retirement even though the 40-year-old is out for the season with nerve damage in his back. The team is instead applying for a Disabled Player Exception.
  • Sasha Vujacic has signed with Spain’s Laboral Kuxta, the Euroleague announced. Sportando’s Enea Trapani first reported the move involving the eight-year NBA veteran who spent time last season with the Clippers on a 10-day contract. He’ll replace former Kings swingman Orlando Johnson, whom the team is letting go, according to Trapani.