13

Warriors’ Bob Myers on if Golden State has interest in LeBron James: ‘I can’t answer it, no answer’

SAN FRANCISCO — Are the Warriors interested in pursuing free agent-to-be LeBron James after the superstar informed Miami on Tuesday that he will opt out of his contract?

“I can’t answer it, no answer,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said, smiling before the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center luncheon, where he introduced team president Rick Welts as the keynote speaker.

But what about trading for Minnesota’s Kevin Love? Warriors sideline reporter Ric Bucher cited sources in tweeting Monday that the potential Love deal to Golden State “is dead” after Myers had said last week the chances of any big trade this offseason were “unlikely.”

“I’m not commenting on anything,” Myers said, laughing. “No comment on anything. You asked. I answered.”

The Warriors landing Love after back-to-back playoff appearances appears to be a better possibility than James, the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player who could ultimately re-sign with Miami after winning two championships in four seasons with the Heat.

“We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise,” Miami president Pat Riley said in a statement.

“We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together.”

Myers, meanwhile, was at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis honoring a co-worker and confidant in Welts, who became the first openly gay NBA executive.

“We all have times in our life where we’re at this pivotal moment where we have to make a decision  whether it’s work or personal life, and when you connect with people in our lives, it helps us with those types of decisions to give us advice,” Myers told the audience.

“And I remember four or five months ago at work I found myself at one of those decision-making points, which I do a lot of in my job. And I walked into Rick’s office, and he’s one of those people — and I think he’s one of those people for a lot of people – and I sat down and had a good conversation and he helped me make the right decision. And then afterwards about two or three days later, he said, ‘You know what? I’m proud of you.’ And it was one of those vivid moments for me.

“People because of the job I’m in have a lot of nice things to say and sometimes not nice things to say. But I’m going to always remember that, Rick. It may have been a small thing to you, but a much bigger thing to me.”

Said Welts: “We have an amazing thing going on with the Warriors right now. I’ve been here for three years. I get to work with Bob. Our ownership is extraordinary.”

5

Warriors’ Klay Thompson would be ‘thrilled’ to play with Lakers’ Kobe Bryant or stay in Golden State

Warriors guard Klay Thompson and his father, Mychal Thompson spent the weekend talking trade scenarios involving Minnesota’s Kevin Love, including the one that had the sharpshooter going to the Los Angeles Lakers, Mychal’s former team.

The Los Angeles Times report that the Lakers were in discussions to acquire Klay in a three-way deal that would send Love to the Warriors made Mychal “quite happy,” the elder Thompson said Monday on the ESPN LA 710 AM radio show he co-hosts.

“I was just so flattered that the Lakers are even interested in Klay and would make that offer,” said Mychal, whose son grew up in Southern California rooting for the Lakers’ championship teams. “Yes, it warmed my heart. Yes, it made me think, ‘Wow, I wonder if the Warriors would go along with that, that he would actually be a Laker, and that would be kind of cool for me.’ You know, it’s my dream for him to be a Laker. He’s thrilled to be where he’s at at Golden State.

“But if he got traded to the Lakers, he would make the most of it. He would be happy to be here (in Los Angeles). Kobe (Bryant) is his idol. If he had a chance to play with Kobe, he said he’d be thrilled to play with Kobe. If he stays with Golden State, hey, it’s fine.”

Klay heading to the Lakers appears unlikely as Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Dan Patrick Show that the Timberwolves would want Klay rather than the Lakers’ No. 7 overall pick in Thursday’s draft.

Mychal also said he hoped that Klay would continue to play alongside the Warriors’ Stephen Curry.

“It is a conundrum, a mixed bag of emotions and feelings because I’m happy where he’s at now and what they have building and brewing at Golden State,” Mychal said after learning of the Los Angeles Times report. “They’ve got themselves a very special, unique backcourt with those two young gentlemen. And I think Mark Jackson was right when he called them the best shooting backcourt in the history of the game, and it’d be interesting to see that develop over the years.

“They enjoy playing together. They enjoy each other’s company. They golf together and stuff like that. Klay is jealous of Steph…of his golf game.”

Klay told Lakers Nation last offseason it would be “great” to play in the spotlight for the Lakers, but also because of Curry, he would be able to turn down Bryant recruiting him to Los Angeles.

“I’d say, ‘Kobe, I’m sorry man, but we’ve got the Splash Brothers in the Bay,’ so I don’t know. We’ve got such a good thing going up there. Lakers, it’s one of the best organizations in all of sports…But I’m happy with where I’m at. We’ve got such a good thing coming for the next decade.”

45

Warriors’ Klay Thompson not offended by trade talks, Mychal Thompson glad Kevin Love deal on hold

Warriors guard Klay Thompson understands that trade discussions involving him and Minnesota’s Kevin Love are part of the business and has the “right attitude,” Mychal Thompson, his father, told NBC Sports Radio on Saturday.

“He’s got the right attitude,” Mychal said. “He’s not getting personally offended by his name being rumored to go someplace. He understands that unless your name is LeBron James or it’s Kevin Durant, anybody could be thrown into a trade or talked about in a trade.

“So he’s got a professional approach about it, and if he ends up with the Lakers, great. He’ll make the most of it. He’ll be thrilled to be (in Los Angeles). But if he stays with Golden State, then he’ll be happy to stay up there with those guys. If he got traded to Minnesota? I told him, ‘Hey, you get to play with Ricky Rubio, the best passer in the game.’”

Mychal, a recent Los Angeles Lakers analyst, was happy to hear any trade involving his son was reportedly on hold. In recent days, reports surfaced of the Timberwolves’ asking price for Love including Klay and also the Lakers looking to land the shooting guard as part of a three-way deal.

“Jerry West and Steve Kerr, they both want to keep that backcourt intact,” Mychal said. “It looks like that’s the power play that’s going to win out.”

Mychal doesn’t believe a backcourt of his son and Stephen Curry should be broken up because to him, the only thing the Warriors needed improvement on was at backup guard where he speculated they could sign free agent guards such as Patty Mills and Jodie Meeks.

“When you have two shooters with the capability of Steph and Klay, that is rare,” Mychal said. “I’ve never seen this before, so why would you split it up when you have it right there in the palm of your hand?

“So I was glad to see that the trade was put on hold. Who knows? It could be revived. For now, it’s just holding.”

7

Warriors’ Bob Myers: Big trade ‘unlikely’ for now, but then again, so was Andre Iguodala trade

OAKLAND – Warriors general manager Bob Myers won’t comment on specific trade rumors. But while there is chatter regarding a possible deal for star Minnesota forward Kevin Love, he did speak to the chances of a big trade.

“I think probably right now unlikely. It’s the best I can do for you. But I will say this: If you asked me last year at this time would we be in a situation to grab an (Andre) Iguodala, I would have said the same thing.

“Right now, I think it’s unlikely. Right now, today.”

Myers acknowledged that things can change quickly in trade discussions. In recent days, conflicting reports have surfaced about whether or not the Warriors would include shooting guard Klay Thompson in a trade for Love.

Comparing Thompson to a five-tool baseball player, Myers said the sharpshooter continues to expand his game and that the team highly values him.

“The nice thing about him that I think is he hasn’t reached his ceiling,” Myers said. “I think he’s got a high ceiling and that he can only get better, so that’s the type of player anybody wants on their team.”

Thompson is eligible to sign an extension with the Warriors beginning next month, and Myers said he looked forward to speaking to Bill Duffy, the player’s agent.

“I will tell you that there’s a lot of players on our roster that have value, which is good,” Myers said. “That’s what you want to have.

“Especially the youth of the roster is appealing to any team in the NBA. You want to have young, good players, and we have a few, and that’s something we don’t take for granted.”

1

Warriors announce free agent mini-camp attendees

The Warriors are holding a free agent mini-camp June 23-24 for 16 players, including seven with NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Bobby Brown – Cal State Fullerton – Dongguan Century (China)

Will Cherry – Montana – Canton Charge (D-League)

Patrick Christopher – Cal – Iowa Energy (D-League)

Ramon Galloway – La Salle – Fraport Skyliners (Germany)

Tyler Honeycutt – UCLA – ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne (France)

Edwin Jackson – ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne (France)

Armon Johnson – Nevada – Blancos De Rueda (Spain)

DeAndre Liggins – Kentucky – Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League)

Vernon Macklin – Florida – Liaoning Jiebao (China)

Sean May – North Carolina – Paris-Levallois Basket (France)

Mickey McConnell – Saint Mary’s – Texas Legends (D-League)

James Nunnally – UC Santa Barbara – Cangrejeros De Santurce (Puerto Rico)

John Shurna – Northwestern – FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain)

Jamie Skeen – VCU – Humacao (Puerto Rico)

Christian Watford – Indiana – Hapoel Eilat (Israel)

Michael Watt – Buffalo – Ironi Nes-Ziona (Israel)

3

Warriors reach agreement with Alvin Gentry to become associate head coach

The Warriors reached agreement on a three-year contract with Alvin Gentry to become their associate head coach under Steve Kerr, Gentry’s agent, Warren LeGarie, confirmed via text message Thursday.

Gentry served as the Los Angeles Clippers’ associate head coach this past season and previously worked with Kerr. He was Phoenix’s head coach when the Suns led the NBA in scoring on their way to making a Western Conference finals appearance while Kerr was the team’s general manager.

Gentry, 59, compiled a 335-370 record in NBA head coaching jobs with Miami, Detroit, the Clippers and Phoenix, fulfilling Kerr’s desire of having at least one experienced head coach on the bench with him. While Kerr has never coached professionally, Gentry has more than 30 years of coaching experience in the professional and college ranks.

Kerr had met with former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt and tried to lure one of the most accomplished coaches in Europe to Golden State to become an assistant coach. But Cleveland offered its head coaching job to Blatt after also interviewing Gentry, according to Yahoo Sports, which first reported a Warriors deal with Gentry.

Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob told KGO-TV on Sunday that “there might well be” more than one former head coach on Kerr’s staff, adding that the team had been talking to Blatt along with a number of other candidates.

“And I can just tell you that I think you’ll be happy and our fans will be happy that we’re putting together a great staff, and when they look back at it, they’ll say this is a staff that we think we can improve our players, develop our players and win,” Lacob said.