OAKLAND, Calif. — Warriors general manager Bob Myers expects swift negotiations to re-sign two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and coach Steve Kerr.
Durant could sign for as long as four years and about $160 million, and Myers is prepared to give him ”whatever he wants.” Durant has said all along he wants to stay put, especially after winning a pair of championships in his first two seasons with Golden State.
”Sometimes you don’t negotiate. I’d love to have him for 10 years. Kevin Durant, look what he did for us last year, he did us a great service,” Myers said. ”He’s earned the right to sign whatever deal he wants. I just want him to sign a deal. But want him to be happy and want him to know that we want him as long as he wants to be here. He’s earned that, to kind of lay out the terms. He can do whatever he wants. That shouldn’t be a long negotiation. Our goal, to be honest, is to try to keep the whole thing together, so that’s the pieces of the puzzle we’ve got to try to figure out.”
Kerr has one year remaining on his original five-year contract, so he would receive a multiyear extension – and Kerr wants to coach Golden State for the long haul, perhaps for another decade if he can.
He doesn’t expect any difficulties in getting a deal worked out.
”We’ll get that done pretty quick, I don’t think it’ll be much to it,” Kerr said.
Myers wants to keep as much of the core of the two-time defending champions intact while also realizing the Warriors will be a younger team without the same veteran presence as the group that just swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to finish the finals Friday. Working to try to extend the contracts of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson could be discussed as well.
”Sure, guys have proven they can win so you want to keep that group together,” Myers said. ”I have no idea how that’ll play out. It’s a lot of different conversations that have to take place and if that’s something that we want to look into I’m sure we could have those – Klay’s got another year, Draymond’s got two more. Kevin’s really the free agent we have to focus on.”
After a regular season that was anything but steady, with Stephen Curry limited by injuries to 51 regular-season games, losing seven of 10 late, all four All-Stars out at the same time for health reasons, the Warriors on Tuesday will again host that victory parade in downtown Oakland they planned for all along – their third in four years.
Kerr stayed healthy and on the bench while continuing to deal with symptoms stemming from a pair of back surgeries following the 2015 title.
”I’m sure if you’re around our players and talk to them, they make no bones about it, they love playing for him and they love going through this journey with him,” Myers said of Kerr.
Key reserve David West is contemplating retirement, telling Kerr and Myers during exit interviews he will take some time to decide.
West said after the title clincher that the team went through things behind the scenes that would be surprising if revealed.
”I don’t know if anything would really blow your mind but it was a difficult season and there were lots of moments where it became more difficult,” Kerr said. ”I didn’t think it was anything unusual given the state of our team, what we’ve been through and the length of this journey. Nothing to me was that, like, shocking but yeah we went through some stuff. … For sure this was the toughest of the four (years).”
Myers also downplayed any tension or turmoil that took place privately.
”Certain challenges, some were apparent, some not,” Myers said.
Kerr plans to take it easy for the next several months and not work much as Myers handles the contracts and money, while leaving summer league coaching duties to Willie Green.
It’s still sinking in for Kerr just how much success the Warriors have had during this four-year stretch since he became coach ahead of the 2014-15 season.
”I never could have envisioned this. I know when I took this job I thought we could be really good,” Kerr said. ”I could never have dreamt of three titles in four years. It’s pretty incredible to be a part of the group and the organization.”
Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets to part ways
After just 10 games, Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets have decided it wasn’t a good fit.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey issued a statement on forward Carmelo Anthony’s future with the team.
“After much internal discussion, the Rockets will be parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and we are working toward a resolution,” said Morey. “Carmelo had a tremendous approach during his time with the Rockets and accepted every role head coach Mike D’Antoni gave him. The fit we envisioned when Carmelo chose to sign with the Rockets has not materialized, therefore we thought it was best to move on as any other outcome would have been unfair to him.”
Anthony was originally the third overall pick by Denver in the 2003 NBA Draft and is a 10-time All-Star. He is one of 11 players in NBA history with career averages of at least 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Anthony is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist and is USA Basketball’s all-time leading Olympic scorer and rebounder.
Anthony chose to be a supporting part of Houston’s championship aspirations over opportunities to play a more prominent role elsewhere.
Green on Durant tiff: ‘We’re not going to crumble’
* Tonight on TNT: Warriors vs. Rockets (8 ET)
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green says the recent spat he and teammate Kevin Durant had doesn’t mean the sky is falling for the team at large.
“What happened a few nights ago, Kevin and I spoke. We’re moving forward,” Green said at Thursday afternoon’s shootaround. “There’s no secret that I am an emotional player. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I play with that same emotion. Sometimes they get the best of me and it doesn’t work in my favor. I’m going to live with that because it works in my favor to the good — as my resume speaks and this team’s resume speaks — moreso than it doesn’t. So, I’m never going to change who I am.
“I’ve read a lot about how ‘is this the end of the run? Or ‘Is it over?’ Or ‘did I force Kevin to leave?’ … What you must know, nobody in this organization, from a player — not myself, not Kevin not anybody else — is going to beat us. If you’re one of them 29 other teams in this league, you’ve got to beat us. We’re not going to beat us. We’re going to continue to do what we do. I’m sorry if that ruins everybody’s stories.”
Draymond Green comments on his relationship with Kevin Durant.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 15, 2018
Green was suspended Tuesday for one game without pay for conduct detrimental to the team following an altercation a night earlier with Durant, though general manager Bob Myers declined to offer specifics on the All-Star forward’s behavior that was considered going too far. Myers and coach Steve Kerr collaborated on the decision.
Durant had not yet addressed the media Thursday, but he and Green were photographed on social media both entering shootaround together as well as shooting together on the same side of the court.
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant communicating positively on their way to the arena for shootaround. pic.twitter.com/hrOi3mJY5U
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 15, 2018
KD and Draymond shooting on the same court in front of reporters. Seems purposeful. pic.twitter.com/iDOBS6ki1W
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 15, 2018
In the closing seconds of regulation during Monday’s 121-116 overtime loss on the road to the Clippers, Green secured a rebound and, with Durant calling for the ball, instead dribbled the length of the court into traffic and lost control as the Warriors failed to get a shot off. Durant was shown on camera visibly upset immediately afterward.
Then, back on the bench waiting for the extra period to begin, the two traded words and gestured with Klay Thompson seated between them and Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins and others trying to calm the situation.
Kerr said on Thursday he has faith that this disruption will not stop the Warriors from their bigger goals for the season.
“We met in the locker room before practice and went through our usual gameday routine,” Kerr said. “We addressed some things that will remain private. I know Kevin and Draymond have spoken. That’s as much as I’m going to reveal I can tell you that I am extremely confident in this team’s ability to get through any adversity.
“I know what this team is made of … I know the character of the group. I know the history of this group. It’s way too strong and way too powerful to be upended by the type of adversity that may hit any team in the season.”
Steve Kerr jokes about his attempt to filibuster to avoid Draymond/KD questions, then answers one. Team had a pre-shootaround meeting and discussed it. Details “private,” but Kerr expresses expectation team will power through it. pic.twitter.com/j1L91yXWPz
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 15, 2018
Green remained steadfast as well that this incident is not enough to shake the Warriors from their moorings.
“If this only makes Kevin, myself and the rest of my teammates stronger, that’s what it’s going to do,” Green said. “You think you saw something before, good luck with us now. We’re not going to crumble off of an argument. We’re going to move forward. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
For everyone who figures this franchise is perfect, Myers quickly cleared up that notion on Tuesday.
“It’s hard to win a championship. You can’t allow anything else in your locker room, in the narrative. This team has done a good job of that,” Myers said Tuesday. “I know it may appear as if it’s looked easy over the last however many years. It’s not. If you’re in our locker room, if you’re in our organization, it’s hard.
The Warriors made the announcement about four hours before they were set to host Atlanta, and the 28-year-old Green was serving the suspension against the Hawks. Golden State won that game 110-103, but Green was not at the arena for it.
Jonas Jerebko started in place of Green and had season bests of 14 points and 14 rebounds. After the game, Durant’s first public comments were more cranky than conciliatory. While minimizing the incident — “(Expletive) happens in the NBA,” he said — Durant didn’t exactly bend over backwards to extend any olive branches.
“What happened, happened,” he said. “I don’t really think that matters at this point (whether he and Green are friendly).”
Myers and Kerr have long supported Green’s fiery nature that leads to technical fouls. Myers even sat with Green next door to Oracle Arena at the Oakland Coliseum when Green was suspended for a crucial Game 5 loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors wound up losing in seven.
Green apologized after yelling at Kerr during halftime of a game at Oklahoma City in February 2016.
“My feeling on Draymond and his impact on our team doesn’t change. These things happen sometimes over the course of an NBA season,” Kerr said Tuesday. “We deal with it — again, internally — so any conversations that are happening or have happened it’s our business.”
This wasn’t the first verbal altercation between Durant, the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, and Green. In another overtime loss, 109-106 at Sacramento on Feb. 4, 2017, they shouted at each other and argued near the bench.
Kerr said he spoke to Green, who was part of the recruiting group that worked to sway Durant to the Bay Area from Oklahoma City before the 2016-17 season.
Green has been off to a strong start this season for the two-time defending NBA champions, averaging 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists. Kerr has credited him for taking great care of the ball and establishing a tempo on both ends of the floor.
The game at Los Angeles marked Green’s return from a two-game absence with a sprained right foot and toe.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Rajon Rondo sidelined with broken right hand
Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo will miss “a few weeks” with a broken right hand, coach Luke Walton announced on Wednesday night.
Rondo suffered the injury during the Lakers’ 126-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Rondo finished the game with three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 15 minutes.
We’ll get more details on this later; Walton just found out the results prior to his press conference. But he did note that Rondo hit his hand on the floor, presumably when he stole the ball from Nurkic in the 4th Q. Walton said he wasn’t sure and would have to check the tape. https://t.co/Ur2xgYRtsW
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 15, 2018
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports Rondo is expected to miss four weeks due to the injury.
Rondo is averaging 9.3 points, 6.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds during his first 10 games with the Lakers.
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