Rick Welts

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.

Warriors Agree To Extension With Bob Myers

The Warriors have reached an agreement on a contract extension for president of basketball operations Bob Myers, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter).

Myers, who was hired as the Warriors’ assistant general manager back in 2011, was promoted to GM in 2012 and originally signed an extension in 2014 that ran through the 2017/18 season. When he was promoted to the role of president of basketball operations in 2016, Myers received another extension, though specifics on that deal weren’t reported. Details on his new contract also aren’t yet known.

In any case, it’s safe to say that the Warriors are committed to having Myers lead the basketball operations department for the foreseeable future as the franchise makes the move across the bay to San Francisco.

Myers has overseen a roster that has appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three of them. He was responsible for drafting Draymond Green in the second round in 2012, acquiring Andre Iguodala in a sign-and-trade deal in 2013, and signing Kevin Durant in free agency in 2016, among other key moves.

As Stein notes (via Twitter), Myers received an offer from the Sixers in 2018 to take over their basketball operations department, but opted to stick with the Warriors.

According to Stein (via Twitter), the Warriors have also agreed to terms on a new multiyear deal for team president and COO Rick Welts.

Ray Allen, 12 Others Selected To 2018 Hall Of Fame Class

Two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star Ray Allen was among 13 names selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for enshrinement as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class.

In his 18-year career, Allen set the record for most three-point field goals made with 2,973 and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list with an .894 mark. Allen, 42, was drafted by the Bucks fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee. After a four-and-a-half year run with the then-Supersonics, Allen joined the Celtics, capturing his first of two NBA titles in 2008.

The University of Connecticut product joined the Heat for his final two seasons, capturing his second championship in 2013. Allen sank several clutch treys in Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, leading the Heat to the title.

As we relayed earlier this week, Jason KiddSteve Nash, Grant HillMaurice Cheeks, and Rod Thorn were selected to the Hall of Fame. You can read detailed descriptions of their careers from our February report of 13 finalists being selected for the Hall of Fame.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith,  four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were also selected.