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Jerry West: Warriors ‘don’t want to mess with’ Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson backcourt

LAS VEGAS – On the eve of Jerry West’s scheduled arrival to the NBA Summer League, the Warriors executive board member spoke of the team wanting to keep Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson together.

The Warriors have yet to relent on handing over Thompson in a trade for Minnesota’s Kevin Love. Asked on KNBR about the balance between cohesion and major change, West indicated where he and others in the organization stood.

“When you have a premier backcourt, you don’t want to mess with that,” West told Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. “I don’t think anyone does.

“And for us to have two young players back there who like each other, very cohesive and more importantly are going to we think get better and get better together, even though you want to add a quality player, we’ve got a real quality backcourt. It’s hard to get rid of something that’s really good.”

West said the signing of backup guard Shaun Livingston alone improves the Warriors, who he noted dealt with numerous injuries last season when they won 51 games.

“I like our team,” West said.

Diamond Leung

  • Jay

    No Jerry doesn’t want to mess that back court up, since Klay is his pick. If Klay isn’t averaging 20-5-5 by the all star break like my boy K Camp says, “IT AINT NOTHING TO CUT THAT _____ OFF” LOL

  • leonps

    Like the new Warriors way of doing things. They are smart business people.

  • Candid One

    Not only KT’s offensive stats are vital; Klay is highly-rated perimeter defender who’s finally getting his props on that side of the ball. He and Iguodala on the floor at the same time is problematic for opposing offenses, and although Steph Curry isn’t yet on the same level in one-on-one, Steph’s improving and his knack in the passing lanes is exceptional. Both are truly keepers. Kevin Love doesn’t equal KT on both sides of the ball.

  • TechGeezer

    “When you have a premier backcourt, you don’t want to mess with that,” West told Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. “I don’t think anyone does.

    He remembers the Celtics backcourt of Cousy and Sharman during the 50s. They complemented each other perfectly… and played together for about 10 -12 years. Nobody would think of breaking them up. Result: Celtics dynasty.

  • Jay

    Lets see, I’m a super star free agent and its 2016 and my current roster has Steph and Love, WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY with that duo? or would you like to play with Klay and Rubio?

  • sunshipballoons

    What superstar free agent would the Ws be able to afford in this world?

  • thewarriorsrule

    i agree, if you’re overvaluing klay this much, he better avg 20-5-5 next year

  • thewarriorsrule

    steph and love duh :)

  • thewarriorsrule

    klay is an above avg defender, but he’s not premiere. i would like to see kerr put iggy on chris paul, not klay. iggy is premiere

  • thewarriorsrule

    klay and lee for love and martin. no barnes. do it already!

  • Jay

    I’m going to stick with the theory that I hear from most NBA analyst that the salary cap will be up to 80 mill (because of the huge NBA tv contract) and that we may still have BOGUT and we might not have ANDRE (which i believe thats all on the shoulders of how they perform this season under Kerr’s new offense), but I believe that one of those players want be on our team in 2016, and assuming that the Warriors front office for some (ODD) reason really believe in Bogut. Then Andre would probably be the odd man out.

    Meaning we would have some cash to go fishing and seeing that we will need an All-Star at SF or a solid role player and defender.

    Lets go for the home run and see if we can go after KEVIN DURANT

  • sunshipballoons

    Okay, so:

    You’re talking about after 2015-16. The current national TV contract runs through 2015-2016. So, you’re talking about 2016-17. Even if they match this year’s increase (7%) next year, you’re still talking about an unprecedented increase for 2016-17 (18%). But let’s assume that actually happens. And that’s also when Durant becomes a FA.

    I think we’re assuming they’ve acquired Love and extended him with a max contract. That puts him somewhere in the ballpark of $20 million/year (maybe a little less). So the Ws salaries after 2015/16 are as follows:

    Love: $20 million
    Bogut: $11 million
    Igoudala: $11 million
    Curry $12 million
    Nedovic: $2 million (team option)

    Klay: UFA or Barnes: $5 million QA/cap hold, unless the
    renounce him
    Ezeli: $3 million QA/cap hold, unless the renounce him
    Livingston: $5 million (team option)

    That’s $56 million in guaranteed salary, plus $8 million in cap holds, plus $5 million if they keep Livingston, putting them around $70 million. The upshot is that to have enough to get Durant at something like $24 million (30% of your predicted $80 million cap), they need to clear out another $14 million. So, say they renounce Barnes (or if they still have Klay, wait to re-sign him under the Bird rule after they’ve signed Durant), renounce Ezeli and don’t opt-in on
    Livingston. That’ll work if Durant agrees to take about $1 million less than the max.

    And it leaves the Ws with this roster:
    C: Bogut
    PF: Love
    SF: Durant, Igoudala
    SG: None
    PG: Curry, Nedovic

    So, they’re capped out at 6 players, with no starter at SG (or making Igoudala play out of position). Suppose they get Love for Barnes and can still re-up with Thompson. Now they are likely looking at several years of luxury tax, ultimately going to a Nets-like rate that the ownership will never allow.

    Now, let’s suppose they move Igoudala to OKC for Durant. (I don’t see how else they trade him. They aren’t going to give up on the next two seasons, so you won’t see an in-season trade for an expiring contract. They could trade him in the off-season, but they’d probably have a hard time finding a team with cap space to just take him off their hands. They don’t have the first round picks to buy that cap space with.) So, now you have;

    Bogut, Love, Durant, Curry, Nedovic, and about $10 million in cap space to get a starting SF and all 3-4 of your key backups and the rest of your roster. So, you’ve gotta be darn sure that Bogut, Love, Durant, Curry draws 4-5 starting level veterans willing to sign for the minimum. And that ownership is willing to spend upwards of $150 million/year in salaries plus luxury tax.

    Basically: never gonna happen.

  • sunshipballoons

    Yeah, but those teams had Bill Russell.

  • TechGeezer

    Well, of course they did. But that doesn’t discount from the ballhandling of Cousy, and the sharpshooting of them both. Russell was a great rebounder, but those 2 guards didn’t miss much. And those days were way, way before the 3 point arc.

  • sunshipballoons

    Totally. I just think we’re kind of comparing the Ws to those teams. Sure, Boston had the great backcourt. But if they had not had Russell, and somebody offered them Russell for Sharman and whatever lesser big they had instead of Russell, I think Boston would have been crazy to pass up on that offer.

  • Jay

    Very long read, but you forgot that we would be able to sign people for MLE and we should have money opened up because Iggy or Bogut will be moved by then, so how much cap space would we have to play with then?Maybe around 11 miilion. Theoretically I don’t see the Warriors trading Klay, at all. I do know if the Warriors get knocked out in the first round this year we will be moving a lot of pieces this offseason. Also in this scenario we might have to realize that we may need to start appeasing Wardell because i believe when his contract is up and if Charlotte keeps improving in the East, WE WILL BE F*****

  • sunshipballoons

    No cap space would be created by a Bogut or Iguodala trade. How would that work? If they trade him, they will almost certainly have to take back equal salary (because they don’t have the picks to buy somebody’s cap space). The only way they cut by trading either of those guys for equal salary is to trade them during this upcoming season for an expiring deal. But that will never happen, because it would require them to give up on this upcoming season, which they won’t do.

    As a practical matter, the Ws probably don’t have a MLE to use in 2016, or at least not the full one. If they keep Livingston, they will not have a MLE to use, since they used the non-taxpayer MLE on him. If they cut him and are still under the tax (which I think is unlikely in the scenario above), then they will have the non-taxpayer MLE to use. More likely, even if they cut him, they are hitting the tax on the above contracts and will only have the smaller taxpayer MLE, which is roughly 60% the size of the MLE.