SAN FRANCISCO – Early in the NBA playoffs, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr had a conversation about how they didn’t feel their team was championship-caliber. They saw themselves as a team in the Western Conference Finals, perhaps, but compared to the title teams they’ve worked with in the past, this one doesn’t have the clear marks of a champion.

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

“As we’ve moved on, I think Bob and I have kind of changed our minds,” Kerr said. “It’s like we just kept getting better, and that’s like, wait a minute, maybe we have a chance.”

Now, there is a feeling that this group is just getting started and will be even better next year. This must be a scary idea for some across the league, but for that to happen, it means the Warriors need most, if not all, of their players to get back in. This may be difficult.

Golden State has seven free agents, and only two of them — Chris Chiozza and Quinndary Weatherspoon — are on hold. The team also already has $24.6 million above taxes.

“Free agency, not particularly constrained … is under our control to some extent, but it is not in some ways,” Myers said at a season-end news 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 us that. But that’s what you get if you win and you create a good environment. Get a chance to match something.”

Myers added, “Our goal, our hope is to bring all these guys back and try to do it again. They’ve all been great in different ways and they all filled different needs for us. … A lot of our Free Agents had big moments in the NBA Finals, which means they matter.” Extremely “.

The Warriors’ unrestricted free agents are Kevon Looney and Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee, Gary Payton II, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Looney, Porter, and Payton are the main free agents who want them back.

Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Paul are also ready to extend the contract. While Myers acknowledged that these agreements may not be ironed out for some time, he called them a “big priority.” With Paul ready to get an extension for the starters, 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 with a guy like Jordan, those things are usually a bootcamp and an eventual deadline. … We’re a long way from knowing what Andrew wants and what his agent wants, but I know what we want. We want to keep it, and we’re going to make We did our best to keep these two guys. They were huge for us.”

With the Warriors unsure of what their roster will look like in just a few weeks, it will be tough for them to get an accurate plan heading into Thursday’s draft, where they have picks of 28, 50 and 51.

“You know, that’s, I think, the disadvantage of getting enlisted before free agency,” Myers said. “We don’t know.” “That lends itself to saying, let’s take the best player. If we find we are out of balance in a position, then let’s try to recover in free agency.”

Because Golden State has so many free agents, Myers said he’s not interested in keeping a spot on the list for anyone, rather than using draft pick.

He also made it clear that money wouldn’t be the deciding factor if warriors kept their choices or traded them away. It will come down to fit and affect.

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

What the front office of the Myers and the Warriors choose to do with their enlistment choices will likely wind up in The Wire Thursday night. As for their free agents, they will have to wait until early July to make any decisions there.

But the Warriors know they want to get the ball back with as many of the same players as possible as they try to stick to their words and get the best of this championship season.

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