Everyone was happy before the Warriors took on the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors got their guy. Point guard Stephen Curry got his deal. A rainbow shone just outside the Warriors locker room.
Here is the transcript from Curry, Lacob and Myers.
How was the negotiation process?
It was a little nerve-racking, because this was a big decision. I give credit to my agent and the front-office staff for putting some good effort into figuring out a great deal. It feels good to have this done. I’m ready to move on to regular-season play and get some games under our belt.
Why make this decision?
I thought the deal was too good to pass up right now. I’ve been through a lot of injuries the past year and a half. It’s back strong and ready to go. Just knowing that that was the deal on the table and getting a lot of confidence from the ownership group, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up right now. I’m just excited about the future.
Mark Jackson said center Andrew Bogut will be a game-time decision. Bogut participated in shootaround fully, his third straight practice.
Still, Jackson said he will talk to Bogut and watch him closely before deciding if he’ll play tonight. If he doesn’t play, rookie center Festus Ezeli will get the start.
JACKSON: “He did everything we needed him to do Tuesday. He feels good. I’ll make a decision when we get to the arena (Wednesday night). It’s just about how he feels, basically. That’s pretty much the way were going to go for right now, being patient and staying true to the process.
The Warriors and point guard Stephen Curry have agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract extension, according to a team source. Curry is expected to sign the $11 million-per-year contract on Wednesday before the Warriors play Phoenix in the season opener.
Wednesday at 9 p.m. was the deadline for the Warriors to extend Curry’s rookie contract. Curry had said he wanted the situation settled before to avoid distracting him from the season opener.
The source said Curry is excited about the contract because it gives him the three things he wanted: to stay with the Warriors, security, and a “reasonable” salary. His deal doesn’t include any bonuses or incentives. Curry has said all along he wanted to stay with the Warriors. In exchange Golden State got Curry, who has been hampered with ankle issues the last two seasons, at a discount price. (Tuesday, Denver’s Ty Lawson signed for four years, $48 million. Without the ankle issues, Curry likely would have gotten at least that amount).
There was uncertainty over whether the Warriors and Curry would reach a deal considering his ankle issues. He missed 40 games last season due to ankle sprains. After surgery in April, he worked his way back onto the court, then sprained his ankle again on Friday.
However, members of Warriors management said they weren’t concerned over the latest sprain. And they were impressed with Curry’s play since training camp began.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson announced Monday that rookie Harrison Barnes will be his starting small forward.
Barnes and swingman Brandon Rush were the front-runners for the open spot all training camp. Jackson said, in the end, Barnes has the size and skill set the Warriors want in the starting lineup. But he also proved he can hold his own on the defensive end.
“He doesn’t give up on plays,” Jackson said. “He battles. He competes. He knows when he makes mistakes.”
A big factor, too, was Jackson’s comfort with Rush. Having registered a breakout year coming off the bench last season, Jackson said part of him wanted to keep Rush in that role. He said he values knowing what he’s going to get from Rush off the bench. With Barnes, who has never played a sixth man role, it would be more trial and error.
Another advantage is that Rush can play two positions. That versatility gives Jackson more options, as Rush can come in for Barnes or shooting guard Klay Thompson.
“B-Rush is going to get his share of minutes,” Jackson said.
The Warriors got relatively good news from both of their injured ankles on Saturday. Don’t expect either point guard Stephen Curry or center Andrew Bogut to take the court before the season opener. But each got good reports from their surgeon.
Curry, who re-injured his right ankle on Friday night in Portland, was checked out by Dr. Richard Ferkel at Saturday’s practice. According to general manager Bob Myers, Ferkel — who performed Curry’s arthroscopic surgery in April — wasn’t concerned about Curry’s latest ankle issue.
Coach Mark Jackson said he wasn’t concerned, either. Still, he said he’s going to hold out Curry for the final two preseason games.
“There’s no point in playing him now,” Jackson said. “There is nothing to gain by running him out there. I’m not concerned, but we’re going to be smart about it.”
Warriors general manager Bob Myers, coach Mark Jackson, and everyone else in the Warriors organization, no doubt gasped in fear as they saw point guard Stephen Curry come up limping again.
Midway through the second quarter of Friday’s exhibition game at Portland, Curry rolled his right ankle and had to leave the game. It happened when, as the GIF above (courtesy of C.J. Folger) shows, Wesley Matthews ran past Curry from behind. Curry stuck his foot out just enough for it to be kicked by Matthews.
Curry, after a stint in the locker room, came back out and tried to check back in the game. But, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Jackson told Curry no. The point guard then returned to the locker room and did not come out for the second half. The team announced he was ruled out for the rest of the game “for precautionary reasons.”
Curry, who missed 40 games last season after multiple sprains of that right ankle, had arthroscopic surgery in April. After a long rehabilitation process, he has had no setbacks since returning to action. Jackson has been extra protective throughout, at first limiting Curry in practice then keeping his minutes short in pre-season games.
Curry is also in the middle of negotiations for a contract extension, talks which have been put on hold until the end of the preseason slate. A couple of Warriors sources said the sprain wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked, that it wasn’t really a sprain as much as it was being kicked.
Warriors fans have been worried about center Andew Bogut’s recovery for some time now. With reason, too. Unlike with point guard Stephen Curry, who seemed to hit every projected timeline, Bogut’s injury seems to be a bit on the hush. That has to be unnerving for a fan base who has been sold on Bogut being worth giving up a star and enduring last year’s losing.
Sure, he had surgery in April in part to ensure he’d be ready for camp. Yes, his status changed from to going slow in camp and making sure he’s ready for the regular season. And now, all the plans and expectations seem to be hopes and ideals. The reality is this: Bogut won’t play until he’s healthy. No one knows exactly when that is because it’s largely based on how Bogut feels. And until he says “I feel spectacular, no issues,” they’re probably going to keep the reins on him. The Warriors are going to be cautious about because he is 7-foot (which means his foot injuries are more delicate) and it’s a long season (which means rushing him back prematurely isn’t quite necessary).