Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors says the goal is to bring everyone back for the title defense

SAN FRANCISCO – At one point early in the NBA playoffs, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and manager Steve Kerr had a conversation about how they didn’t think their team was the caliber of the league. They considered themselves a Western Conference Finals team, perhaps, but compared to the title teams they had worked with in the past, this one didn’t have the obvious signs of a champion.

But then the playoffs began and with each round the Warriors got better and better.

“As we went, I think Bob and I both changed our minds,” Kerr said. “As if we keep improving, and it’s like, wait a second, maybe we have a chance.”

Now, there is a sense that this group has just started and will be even better next year. This should be a scary thought for some across the league, but for that to happen, it means the Warriors need most, if not all, of their players to return. And it could be complicated.

Golden State has seven free agents and only two of them – Chris Chiozza and Quinndary Weatherspoon – are restricted. The team also already has $ 24.6 million more in taxes.

“Free agency, especially unrestricted … it’s under our control to some extent, but in a way it’s not,” Myers said in his season-ending press conference on Wednesday. “I hope our players give us a chance to respond to an offer. They don’t have to. They don’t owe it to us. But that’s what you get if you win and create a good environment. You may have a chance to match something.”

Myers added, “Our goal, our hope is to bring all those guys back and try to do it again. They’ve all been great in different ways and all met different needs for us. … Many of our free agents. they’ve had great moments in the NBA Finals, which means they’re pretty important. “

The Warriors’ Unlimited Free Agents are Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee, Gary Payton II, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Looney, Porter and Payton are the main free agents they would like to bring back.

Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are also awaiting a contract extension. Although Myers acknowledged that those deals may not be resolved for a while, he called them “a big priority”. With Poole ready for a rookie extension, the Warriors have until October 17 to sign an extension. For Wiggins, who is entering the final year of his five-year contract from Minnesota, there is no deadline.

“All of these negotiations take on a life of their own,” Myers said. “They’re all different. But I know that with a guy like Jordan, usually, those things boil down to some kind of training camp and end-of-line deadline. … We’re a long way from understanding what Andrew wants and what he wants. his agent, but I know what we want. We want to keep him and we will make every effort to keep both of those guys. They have been great for us. “

With the Warriors unsure of what their roster will look like in a few weeks, it will be difficult for them to have an exact plan ahead of Thursday’s draft, in which they will have 28th, 50th and 51st picks.

“You know, that’s the downside, I suppose, of having the draft before free will. We don’t know,” Myers said. “This lends itself to saying, let’s take the best player. If we find that we’re unbalanced in one position, then let’s try to catch up in free agency.”

Because Golden State has so many free agents, Myers said he’s not worried about preserving a roster spot for anyone, rather than using a draft pick.

He also made it clear that money will not be the determining factor if the Warriors keep their choices or trade them. It will depend on the fit and impact.

“The payroll is already, as you know, the highest in the league,” Myers said. “Second place is not that close. It will change over time, but Joe [Lacob] he always wanted to win. … It just depends on whether we think we can get free agency value for some of these guys. We will not spend alone. We didn’t do it last year. “

What the Myers and Warriors front office chooses to do with their draft picks will most likely come to the game on Thursday night. As for their free agents, they will have to wait until early July to make any decisions.

But the Warriors know they want to go back with as many of the same players as possible as they try to live up to their words and get even better this league season.

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