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Kerr: 'Lot of value' in keeping Dubs core together

The hope within the Warriors is that the core of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry can remain intact despite missing the playoffs for the third time in five seasons.



Kerr: 'Lot of value' in keeping Dubs core together
Kerr: 'Lot of value' in keeping Dubs core together
SAN FRANCISCO -- For the past several years, the Golden State Warriors have consistently been asked how much longer they can keep their dynasty together.

Their title in 2022 bought them a year. But, following last season's second-round exit and Draymond Green's free agency, the question resurfaced.

And now, after getting run off the floor and out of the postseason by the Sacramento Kings and with Klay Thompson heading into unrestricted free agency, the question is even louder.

The hope within the organization is that the core of Thompson, Green and Stephen Curry can remain intact. But there's no hiding from the fact that it's easier said than done.

"It's rarely a storybook," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said at his exit interview Thursday. "Even the '96 or '98 Bulls, you know, the team was broken up and we won the championship in our last year but there was a documentary about what a disaster the whole thing was. It's impossible for this stuff to end perfectly."

"I do think there is a lot of value to having our three guys being Warriors for life. I think there's a lot of value in ending with dignity ... so, for those three I really want to see all of them finish their careers here but also finish out their careers with a sense of pride and dignity in what they're doing."

The Warriors' 24-point loss to the Kings, in which Thompson shot 0-for-10 -- a goose egg, as he called it -- is not the dignified ending they're hoping for.

Kerr, Green and Curry have all voiced their desire for Thompson to strike a new deal with Golden State.

On Thursday, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. echoed those sentiments.

"Certainly, we want Klay back," Dunleavy said. "I expressed that to him yesterday."

He also added that he can't imagine a scenario in which Green doesn't return. Green still has $77 million and three years left on the contract extension he signed last summer.

But much of the turbulence the Warriors experienced this season was by Green's doing. Kerr called the actions that ended in Green's indefinite suspension "unforgivable" at the time.

"And yet I forgave him," Kerr said Thursday with a smile.

Green's value to the Warriors comes down to how much he helps the team. And Kerr believes that value is still extremely high. So high that they can balance how to deal with his flaws.

"He's one of the most competitive, he's one of the smartest players I've ever been around," Kerr said. "And yet he makes these decisions that hurt the team, that aren't smart. So how do you reconcile all that? It's really difficult. The number one thing I would say is, if we decided he wasn't worth it then we would have moved off of him years ago. But he's worth it and he's worth it not only because of the banners that are hanging out there but because he really is a wonderful human being."

Kerr continued: "Draymond's complex. His relationship with our franchise is complex. But at the core of it is a deep loyalty and passion and love, and we share that with him. That's really tricky to reconcile. You almost don't even try to reconcile it. You help him through it and you make sure he's the best version of himself and you keep pushing."

At this point, the Warriors view keeping their core together as more than just a sentimental nod to allow them to finish out their careers with Golden State.

Both Dunleavy and Kerr expressed their belief in the amount of quality basketball Curry, Green and Thompson all have left to play.

However, adjustments must be made for the Warriors to get back to the playoffs, let alone title contention.

"Everything's on the table in terms of how we play, how we want to do things," Dunleavy said. "When you have a couple years, you know, we've missed the playoffs three of the last five years, so it's fair to evaluate and make changes to things."

Dunleavy outlined shooting, defense and size as the top characteristics he'd like to add to the roster over the summer, but there is no certainty as to who will be available over the summer. And for what cost?

The Warriors would like to get under the second apron and possibly the luxury tax, but doing so while still improving their roster might be difficult.

"You know how Joe [Lacob] is with his willingness to spend and compete that I don't think there will be any restrictions, but we'll also be prudent," Dunleavy said. "I mean, to put a team out there that can't make the playoffs, like we spent $400 million this year, I wouldn't recommend that. So, we'll figure it out, but I don't think we have anything set in stone in terms of parameters we got to live by."

The emergence of Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis, who are still on rookie deals, helps.

But, as Kerr said, "Can we do that again somehow with a second-round pick? It would be tough ... you would have to make a really savvy trade, if you're Mike, to be able to accomplish both of those things. So it's not easy, but it is possible to go bargain-hunting and find guys."