OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers remains confident that the organization can retain Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant this summer.
“There’s things I can say; there’s all these rules — but I would say that we value those guys at the highest level,” Myers said on Friday. “I wouldn’t be a very good GM if I didn’t understand how valuable they are to our own team. It sometimes gets lost. But I think when Kevin plays in the NBA Finals, we’ve gone 9-1. So I don’t know what else matters. And Klay’s — they’re both fantastic. Those are guys that you do everything you can to keep within your organization.”
The topic of Thompson and Durant’s free agency has hovered over everything the Warriors have done this season, but it took on even more significance in the last week after Durant suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in Game 5 of The Finals and Thompson suffered a torn left ACL in Game 6. Myers said that the injuries would not affect the team’s pursuit of either player.
“All I’ll say is that those guys are highly important to us,” Myers said. “And deserving of being rewarded in the right manner … it’s hard to find high-quality people, and both of them are that. And so you just — try to keep those guys within these walls the best you can.”
Durant has a player option for next season that he’s been expected to opt out of all year, at least prior to his injury, while Thompson will be an unrestricted free agent. The widespread belief within the Warriors organization all year is that Thompson would re-sign this summer, while Durant’s status remains more of a mystery.
It is against league policy for the Warriors to come out and say they would offer both Thompson and Durant maximum extensions, but that’s been the belief both internally — and throughout the league — all along. If Thompson and Durant want to stay with the Warriors long-term, all the money will be there for them to do so, even in the wake of both players suffering serious injuries.
“The injury throws everything for a loop,” Kerr said of Durant’s situation. “So I have no idea what Kevin’s going to do. I know that we all want him back. We think this is a great situation for him and vice versa. So hopefully we get him back and keep this thing going with the understanding that he’s a free agent and we want what’s best for him and he’s free to make any choice he wants. So hopefully he’s back and we will all give him any advice, any counsel, he needs. And ultimately he’s going to make his own decision.”