SAN FRANCISCO — Training camp begins in less than a week and the Warriors have only a handful of loose ends to tie. Two of those biggest loose ends are possible extensions for head coach Steve Kerr and All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson. Thompson is entering the final year of his five-year, $189.
9 million deal and is extension eligible. Kerr is on the final year of his contract and extension eligible, too. At a pre-training camp press conference on Monday, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr.
said the team wants both men back long term and that the feeling seems mutual, adding that there is “no timeline” for either deal to get done but they are “optimistic” both parties can agree on an extension. “I think there’s a desire to extend or be back or you know make sure those guys are in the fold with the Golden State Warriors moving forward,” he said. “I think both sides feel that way.
I think when you’re working off that idea, you can come to a deal and hopefully we can do that. ” Kerr has been head coach since May 2014, winning four championships along the way and has become the third-longest tenured NBA coach behind San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (since 1996) and Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra (since 2008). The current climate has seen plenty of successful head coaches fired — Phoenix’s Monty Williams, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, to name two.
But Kerr has institutional success and popularity on his side — he didn’t seem concerned about the extension talks. “I feel great about my position here,” he said. “I want to be here.
I know Mike (Dunleavy) and (owner) Joe (Lacob) want me here, and so I’m very confident something will get done. But I’m not stressed about it at all. I’m perfectly capable of coaching whether I have one year left or an extension.
Makes no difference. But I fully expect to be here. ” Kerr is in line to get a significant raise thanks, in part, to his peers’ recent deals.
After getting fired from Phoenix, Williams signed a six-year, $78. 5 million deal to coach the Detroit Pistons. Weeks later, Popovich signed a five-year extension reportedly worth $80 million with the San Antonio Spurs.
With his resumé, Kerr could ask for a deal on par with or more than what Popovich earns. Thompson’s contract is up at a time when the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement could alter discussions. The Warriors will head into the season above the new second apron luxury tax, meaning they will lose their midlevel exception, ability to sign big-contract buyout players and have their future draft picks frozen if they continue to have a payroll above the $182,794,000 mark (they’re projected at a total salary upwards of $208 million.
) Thompson, 32, will earn $43. 3 million this year. Though Thompson had an all-around strong year last year (despite the poor performance against the Lakers in the playoffs), he might want to play out a contract year and see what offers he can get in the free-agent market next year.
If both teams want to get an extension done, the Warriors will likely be asking Thompson for a discount from his current deal in order to stay under the tax — similar to the discount Draymond Green took at the beginning of the offseason. .