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.”
NBA Commissioner addresses trade requests and more at All-Star press conference
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Not all media attention is good media attention, NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Saturday at his annual All-Star Weekend news conference.
Don’t get it twisted, the NBA relishes the idea that it can dominate news cycles and sports chatter across 12 months. The idea that free agency, roster maneuvers, trade deadlines, buyout markets, summertime player development and even rumors and gossip can keep tongues wagging and ratings high has been widely embraced at league headquarters and by its member teams.
But that doesn’t mean all of its business should be conducted in the street. What the NBA, the New Orleans Pelicans, All-NBA center Anthony Davis, his agent Rich Paul and the Los Angeles Lakers have been embroiled in over the past three weeks would have been better handled “behind closed doors,” the commissioner told reporters at Spectrum Center in the hour before State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
“When they make a public spectacle of it,” Silver said, “I hear you in terms of the enormous media interest that comes from it. But that’s not the kind of media interest we’re looking for.”
Paul notified the Pelicans near the end of January that Davis would not sign a contract extension and preferred to be traded to a championship contender. He didn’t just tell the Pelicans, though; he went public, less than two weeks before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The league fined Davis $50,000 for violating a rule in the collective bargaining agreement prohibiting players or their representatives from making public trade demands.
The plot was thick from the start because Paul’s biggest client is LeBron James, giving the instant perception that James and the Lakers were trying to leverage Davis to them.
From there, a series of nasty dominoes fell: Paul issued a list of four preferred destinations. Davis’ father publicly tried to thwart Boston’s interest. The Pelicans declined to cut a deal with L.A. – and got accused of intentionally trying to stir discord within the Lakers’ locker room by allegedly leaking players’ names.
Once the deadline passed, the NBA reportedly reminded New Orleans that sitting out Davis – to protect its asset until the offseason by avoiding potential injury – was not an acceptable tactic, even as the team seems committed to losing for draft-lottery position. It all led to Friday, when Pelicans GM Dell Demps, who held the line against the Lakers’ overtures, was fired.
All of that is the sort of chaos, and headlines, the NBA would prefer to avoid.
“Whether it be a team or a player not meeting a contractual obligation,” Silver said, “that’s something you just don’t want to see as a league.”
While Davis had 18 months left on his New Orleans contract before he could become a free agent, Silver noted that current CBA is structured to encourage players and their teams to address such stalemates a year in advance. In this case, it would have been fine for Davis and Paul to notify the Pelicans this summer that the All-Star would not re-sign in 2020, thereby giving the team time to probe trades in an orderly fashion.
That’s where the closed doors matter. Just in the past two years, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Davis and Kristaps Porzingis have gone public while under contract with trade requests, to varying levels of disruption to their teams.
Silver acknowledged that teams can “blindside” players by abruptly trading them, such as occurred last season with Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan. But loyalty isn’t the same thing as a guaranteed contract; no-trade clauses, while rare, can be negotiated.
The NBA, under both Silver and his predecessor David Stern, has long been committed to player movement via free agency. But players forcing their way out, in a desire to land in destination markets for basketball or even outside business reasons, can affect the balance of power in the league and the ability of less popular markets to compete.
“I don’t want to be overly defensive here because I don’t want to defend a system that is ‘smoothly operating,’” Silver said. “I believe it’s an area where we can do better. Something we have to sit down with the players’ association.
“But I’m ultimately confident that these are not endemic problems with the the league. To me, these are very fixable issues.”
Silver fielded questions on topics both related and unrelated to the recent trade demands/tampering controversy, including:
He said it’s too soon to know if the league’s changes to the draft-lottery — flattening the odds of landing the No. 1 pick to 14.0 percent each for the three losingest clubs — will have the desired effect of discouraging “tanking.”
Four NBA teams entered the All-Star break on pace to win 20 games or fewer this season. Silver does not believe a race to the bottom is in either the league’s or those teams’ best interest. Especially when franchises do it for multiple years.
“I understand genuine rebuilding,” he said.
But the idea that, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well be really bad? Said Silver: “I believe, personally, that’s corrosive for those organizations.”
As encouraging as the current standings might be — with teams in Milwaukee, Denver, Oklahoma City and Indiana thriving — Silver sees payroll issues as potentially undermining competitive balance. Some teams have more money to spend, others chose to spend to the point of unprofitability. He noted that the NBA has had seven different champions over the past 11 Finals, while the NFL – known for its parity – has seen New England play in nine of the past 18 Super Bowls.
Asked about the Dallas Mavericks’ front-office sexual harassment and discrimination scandal that grabbed headlines almost a year ago, Silver said the team’s and the league’s follow-up has generated results. “What was reported to me and through the organization was that there was a complete sea change in culture on the business side of the Mavericks,” he said. Silver recently traveled to Dallas and spoke with employees.
The idea to invite aging legends Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade to the All-Star Game, adding a roster spot for each, came from a fan’s e-mail, the commissioner said.
Silver called the Currys — father Dell and sons Steph and Seth — the “first family of Charlotte, at least this week.” Dell Curry played for the Hornets, with All-Star Steph and fellow 3-point contestant Seth raised in the area.
Silver provided background on the shift of Charlotte’s All-Star Weekend from 2017 to 2019, the NBA’s response to a political battle in North Carolina that critics said discriminated against members of the LGBTQ community. He credited Hornets owner Michael Jordan, team president Fred Whitfield and others with helping to get the controversial HB2 bill repealed and bringing together those on both sides to restore the game.
Some numbers of note:
- Approximately 150 former NBA players came to Charlotte and volunteered in community service events, clinics and other activities.
- An estimated 1,500 NBA “guests” participated in a day of service Friday in the area.
- About 150,000 people have traveled to Charlotte, Silver said, to attend All-Star events. And the state and city are estimating that All-Star Weekend will have $100 million in economic impact.
* * *
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.
2019 Taco Bell Skills Challenge
What: 2019 Taco Bell Skills Challenge
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 | 8 p.m. ET (first event)
Where: Spectrum Center
• Mike Conley, Grizzlies
• Luka Doncic, Mavericks
• De’Aaron Fox, Kings
• Nikola Jokic, Nuggets
• Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
• Jayson Tatum, Celtics
• Nikola Vucevic, Magic
• Trae Young, Hawks
First-time NBA All-Stars Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic and reigning Kia NBA Rookies of the Month Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks will display their vast array of talents in the 2019 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 17th Taco Bell Skills Challenge is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the Mtn Dew 3-Point Contest and AT&T Slam Dunk. All-Star Saturday Night will air on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States at 8 p.m. ET. NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets.
The eight-player field for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge also features Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies, De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings, Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets is unable to defend his 2018 title due to injury.
• Official Release: Two All-Stars, two rookies among eight-player field
Taco Bell® Skills Challenge Winners
- 2003 – Jason Kidd, New Jersey
- 2004 – Baron Davis, New Orleans
- 2005 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
- 2006 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
- 2007 – Dwyane Wade, Miami
- 2008 – Deron Williams, Utah
- 2009 – Derrick Rose, Chicago
- 2010 – Steve Nash, Phoenix
- 2011 – Stephen Curry, Golden State
- 2012 – Tony Parker, San Antonio
- 2013 – Damian Lillard, Portland
- 2014 – Trey Burke, Utah and Damian Lillard, Portland
- 2015 – Patrick Beverley, Houston
- 2016 – Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota
- 2017 – Kristaps Porzingis, New York
- 2018 – Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn
2019 MTN DEW 3-Point Contest
What: 2019 MTN DEW 3-Point Contest
When: Saturday, Feb. 16 | 8 p.m. ET (second event)
Where: Spectrum Center
• Devin Booker, Suns
• Seth Curry, Trail Blazers
• Stephen Curry, Warriors
• Danny Green, Raptors
• Joe Harris, Nets
• Buddy Hield, King
• Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
• Khris Middleton, Bucks
• Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
• Kemba Walker, Hornets
Defending champion Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns and former champions Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks will participate in the 2019 MTN DEW 3-Point Contest on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 33rd 3-Point Contest, with first-time title partner Mtn Dew, is part of State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and AT&T Slam Dunk. All-Star Saturday Night will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States at 8 p.m. ET. NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets.
Expanding to 10 players this year, the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest field includes 2019 NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets as well as Seth Curry of the Portland Trail Blazers, Danny Green of the Toronto Raptors, Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets and Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.
• Official Release: Defending champion, former champs headline 3-Point Contest
MTN DEW 3-Point Contest Winners
- 1986 – Larry Bird, Boston
- 1987 – Larry Bird, Boston
- 1988 – Larry Bird, Boston
- 1989 – Dale Ellis, Seattle
- 1990 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
- 1991 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
- 1992 – Craig Hodges, Chicago
- 1993 – Mark Price, Cleveland
- 1994 – Mark Price, Cleveland
- 1995 – Glen Rice, Miami
- 1996 – Tim Legler, Washington
- 1997 – Steve Kerr, Chicago
- 1998 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah
- 2000 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah
- 2001 – Ray Allen, Milwaukee
- 2002 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
- 2003 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
- 2004 – Voshon Lenard, Denver
- 2005 – Quentin Richardson, Phoenix
- 2006 – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
- 2007 – Jason Kapono, Miami
- 2008 – Jason Kapono, Toronto
- 2009 – Daequan Cook, Miami
- 2010 – Paul Pierce, Boston
- 2011 – James Jones, Miami
- 2012 – Kevin Love, Minnesota
- 2013 – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
- 2014 – Marco Belinelli, San Antonio
- 2015 – Stephen Curry, Golden State
- 2016 – Klay Thompson, Golden State
- 2017 – Eric Gordon, Houston
- 2018 – Devin Booker, Phoenix
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