SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Golden State Warriors brain trust of GM Bob Myers and Head Coach Steve Kerr gave an exit interview to the 2020-2021 season Monday, touching on a laundry list of priorities as the club heads into the off-season.
Topping the list was the signing of star Steph Curry to a contract extension that would keep him on the roster well into his late 30s.READ MORE: SF City Planners Won't Allow Taqueria El Farolito In North Beach Due To 'Chain Store' Ban
There is no denying that Curry was the bright spot of the season. He finished as the NBA’s scoring champ and is one of three finalists for league’s MVP honors.
Curry signed a $201 million, five-year contract in July 2017 that initially was the richest ever, until James Harden topped it with a $228 million extension from the Rockets. He is now eligible for a four-year, $215.4-million extension.
“I don’t see any reason not to be optimistic,” Myers told reporters. “He seems like he’s motivated, we’re motivated. I would say pretty confident we’ll get something done.”
Kerr also was optimistic.
“Obviously, we want Steph back in the worst way,” the Warriors head coach said. “There’s no reason to think why that won’t happen. We’re excited about that. We’re excited about next season. You know, coming back with Draymond (Green) and Steph playing at such a high level to finish the season and to get Klay (Thompson) back and to have the opportunity to fortify our roster, to see these young guys emerge, it’s all very exciting.”
Speaking of Thompson, he was a snapshot of agony on the sidelines Friday night as the seconds ticked down on Golden State’s overtime loss to Memphis in the final Western Conference play-in game. The other half of the ‘Splash Brothers’ with Curry, he has been sideline for two seasons first by an ACL tear and then by an Achilles tendon tear.
Kerr said Thompson is now on the clock for his return.READ MORE: Fmr. Theranos Lab Director Testifies He Warned Holmes About Faulty Blood-Testing Technology
“I think in a strange way, the end of the season for Klay has meant the end of his time apart from the team,” the Warriors coach said. “Even though he was with the team all year, he never felt a part of it because he wasn’t playing. But the season ended and we had our exit meetings the next day. It’s like, Klay, you’re back. The next time we get together as a team, you’re part of this. You’re going to be on the floor.”
Myers was a little more cautious. While confident Thompson will be in the lineup next season, he wouldn’t commit to an actual timeline.
“I don’t know that it’ll be the start of the year,” he said. “We’ll see more as camp gets closer. When I say start of the year, I mean Game 1. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not. That’ll be less than a year. I think that’ll — I don’t know what date the season opens up, but I think that’ll be 11 months. I don’t know that that’s realistic. What we’re focused on is when do we expect Klay to be Klay, and I don’t know if that’ll be January, February, March. It’s too early to say.”
Green also had remarkable season running the helm of both Golden State’s offense and defense. He’s one of three finalists for NBA Defensive Player of the Year. But he did end the year with both more assists and rebounds than points scored.
“My point has always been that no matter what Draymond does, he’s going to help us win, and that’s the truth,” Kerr said. “He’s so good defensively and passing the ball. But there’s no getting around the fact that when he makes a three, makes a couple threes, gets 10 or 12 points, we are a better team. Draymond knows that, and I think the whole point going into next year is for me as Draymond’s head coach and as the coach of this team to really encourage that kind of aggression but to help that aggression.”
Lastly, the brain trust touched on the much rumored future of No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman, whose up-and-down rookie season was ended by knee injury.
“I think as far as James goes, I think he’s an unbelievable talent, and we absolutely should nurture his talent and continue to help him grow, and that over time there’s no doubt in our minds this guy is going to help us,” Kerr said. “He’s going to be a really good player in this league.”MORE NEWS: COVID: Initial Vaccine Booster Availability Met with Low Turnout, Confusion
“To expect anybody to come in and get it at 19 and figure it all out in a season like this where as an organization ourselves we didn’t have everything all aligned because of Klay’s injury and because of the turnover in the roster and lack of camp,” he continued. “It was a very, very difficult set of circumstances for James to enter into.”