SAN FRANCISCO – Klay Thompson isn’t alone as a future Warriors Hall of Famer entering training camp with only one year remaining on his current contract. His coach Steve Kerr also is in the same situation.
Kerr, who turns 58 years old Wednesday, is nearing a decade as the Warriors’ head coach coming into his 10th season at the helm. He has seen other coaches earn major paydays over the summer, including one of his own former coaches, but maintained Monday that his contract status isn’t front of mind. Kerr wants to remain the Warriors’ head coach past the 2023-24 season and is confident that will be the case.
“I feel great about my position here,” Kerr said Monday, one week before Warriors Media Day. “I want to be here. I know [Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr.] and [Warriors owner Joe Lacob] want me here.
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“I'm very confident something will get done, but I'm not stressed about it at all. I'm perfectly capable of coaching whether I have one year left or an extension – makes no difference. I fully expect to be here.”
Though Kerr was busy throughout the offseason preparing Team USA for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, he had to have seen the dollar figures San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signed his name next to, as well as Monty Williams’ deal to become the Detroit Pistons’ next head coach.
Williams, 52 on Oct. 8, signed a massive six-year, $78.5 million at the start of June. He also is about to be in his 10th season as an NBA head coach, spending the past four seasons leading the Phoenix Suns. The amount of money the Pistons handed to Williams to get the franchise back on track was eye-opening. The structure of Popovich’s new deal was the real surprise between the two.
The 74-year-old already is enshrined in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame and has won five titles as the Spurs’ head coach. And he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With his 28th season at the position around the corner, Popovich signed the richest deal in NBA history for a coaching, completing a five-year extension in July worth $80 million. Like Popovich, Dunleavy, Lacob and Co. appear to have every intention of making sure Kerr’s coaching career is for one franchise.
Golden State Warriors
“It’s a high priority level in terms of getting those guys done,” Dunleavy said to NBC Sports Bay Area in late July.
Golden State’s newest GM reiterated those same feelings Monday.
Dunleavy didn’t stress urgency in getting deals done. Instead, he showed there’s desire from all parties to make sure Kerr and Thompson continue calling the Warriors their basketball home.
“We’re optimistic and I think in a good place,” Dunleavy said.
Once again for the Warriors, that could be an expensive place, both for player and coach. Williams now is making roughly $13 million per season. Popovich now is at $16 million per season. Kerr, he’s at seven figures a season but not eight.
Whatever number is next to the next contract Kerr signs, he might have two friends to thank, as well as a long list of accolades to point to.