Golden State didn’t expect to be on vacation already.
Even with all the injuries — from Klay Thompson before the season to No. 2 pick James Wiseman during it — the Warriors expected to be in the playoffs. Instead, they made the play-in games where they needed to win just one of two, but lost to the Lakers and then the Grizzlies, sending Golden State into its offseason.
An offseason with a lot of questions.
Among them, when will Klay Thompson return? By the start of next season in October? Warriors general manager Bob Myers isn’t so sure he will make that deadline.
“I don’t know that it will be the start of the year, 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. What we’re focused on is when do we expect Klay to be Klay, and I don’t know if that will be January, February, March. It’s too early to say. We’re not going to throw him out there if he’s not ready, and he’s doing everything he can to get back.”
More than just Thompson and his return, Myers discussed other offseason priorities for Golden State.
Myers talked openly about the need to add more shooting around Stephen Curry and how he might go about that. If Minnesota’s first-round pick falls outside the top three — and there’s a 72.4% chance it will — that selection becomes the Warriors as part of the D’Angelo Russell trade. There is a 9.6% chance the Warriors would land the No. 4 pick, which would be incredibly valuable either to draft a player such as Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga or Jalen Green out of the G-League, or to trade that pick. The Warriors have two first-round picks this year if they get the Timberwolves’ one, plus Wiseman, all of which could have the trade value Myers needs to get a star, although he was clear he doesn’t want to trade Wiseman.
Myers also was honest in saying he expects a contract extension with Curry to get done, a move that would disappoint NBA Twitter which has had fun with the idea of LeBron James recruiting Curry (and ignoring the Everest-height financial roadblocks to that happening).
“I don’t see any reason not to be optimistic,” Myers said via the AP. “He seems like he’s motivated, we’re motivated. I would say pretty confident we’ll get something done.”
Curry is entering the last season of his current contract and will make $45.8 million. The sides talked extension before the start of this season, but the most the Warriors could offer at the time was three years, $155.7 million. More than the money, Curry wanted more years on the deal (something the Warriors could not offer yet due to the CBA).
This offseason, the Warriors can offer four years, $215.4 million, with the final year at $59.6 million when Curry is 38. Curry could also choose to play out next season, become a free agent, and re-sign with the Warriors for five years, $278.8 million with a $63.5 million salary in the final season when he is 39.
There are no meaningful negotiations here, the Warriors will give Curry whatever he wants. He’s worth it to them. Not just on the court — he will finish top three in MVP voting this year — but more importantly at the gate, where Curry is a draw to fill the Chase Center and bring in sponsorship deals. What he generates in revenue for the franchise far exceeds what they will pay him.
Curry has said he wants to retire a Warrior, he is expected to sign an extension. The only question is when.
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