Warriors’ Steve Kerr Breaks Silence on Contract Extension

Steve Kerr, Warriors

Getty Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have one of the best coaches in the NBA in Steve Kerr, as well as one of the most laid back.

Kerr met with media members on Monday, September 25, reiterating that he wants to be with the team long-term but won’t force a contract extension ahead of this season — the last on his current deal.

“I feel great about my position here, and I wanna be here,” Kerr said, per video from Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “I know [GM Mike Dunleavy Jr.] and [owner Joe Lacob] want me here, so I’m very confident something will get done. But I’m not stressed about it all. And I’m perfectly capable whether I have one year left or an extension, it makes no difference. But I fully expect to be here.”

Dunleavy spoke to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews on Monday, reaffirming the franchise’s commitment to extending both Kerr and shooting guard Klay Thompson, who is also entering the final year of his deal in 2023.

“On both sides, there is a desire to extend and make sure those guys are in the fold with the Golden State Warriors moving forward,” Dunleavy said.

Klay Thompson Last of Warriors Big 3 Without Extension

Klay Thompson, Warriors

GettyKlay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors passes the ball around Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals in May 2023.

Thompson, who will turn 34 years old in February, is playing in the final season of a five-year, $190 million deal in 2023.

He is the last member of the team’s Big 3 without a new long-term extension after Draymond Green signed a new four-year, $100 million deal in July that will keep him in Golden State through the 2026-27 campaign. Steph Curry is also under contract through 2025-26 after inking a four-year, $215 million agreement in August 2021.

The Warriors signed Thompson to his current deal in July 2019 just months after he tore his ACL in the team’s NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors. That show of faith from the franchise may result in Thompson’s turn to sacrifice in the form of a discount on his next deal.

Green took considerably less money than he qualified for in order to stay with the team, which is salary cap-strapped moving forward due to exorbitant personnel bills over the last several years and the resulting luxury taxes. Thompson will likely also have to agree to a deal for less than the maximum if he hopes to finish out his career with Curry, Green and Kerr in the Bay Area.

Klay Thompson Still Starting-Caliber Player on Warriors’ Championship-Contending Roster

Draymond Green and Chris Paul of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyDraymond Green (left) of the Golden State Warriors and his new teammate Chris Paul (right), formerly of the Phoenix Suns.

Thompson hasn’t been quite the same player he was before missing more than two full years — first due to the ACL injury, which was followed by an Achilles tear he suffered late in his ACL rehabilitation.

While Thompson’s offensive output hasn’t declined much, his efficiency has taken a dip. The shooting guard averaged 20.4 points and 21.9 points per game in each of the previous two regular seasons, respectively, per Basketball Reference. However, he did so on 42.9% and 43.6% shooting from behind the 3-point line. His career average from deep is 45.5% with those two seasons factored in.

Thompson’s moderate decline has been more evident on the defensive side of the ball, where he used to be one of the NBA’s best wing defenders. He is still capable of playing quality defense, though Thompson is no longer considered among the league’s elite in that regard.

Despite that, Thompson figures to remain a starter heading into the 2023-24 campaign. The Warriors added former rival Chris Paul to the roster this offseason, who has been a starter since entering the NBA in 2005. There has been considerable discussion among media members and fans as to whether Paul will start in Golden State and, if so, who he will replace in the lineup. Kerr addressed that situation on Monday as well.

“We basically have six starters,” Kerr told reporters. “And only five can go each night, so I haven’t decided yet.”

“I want to see training camp [first],” Kerr continued. “We’re going to try different combinations and take a look. Obviously, all six guys are going to play a lot of minutes for us.”

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