Warriors

Golden State GM Myers addresses Warriors free agents

Golden State GM Myers addresses Warriors free agents

They are favored to win it all, and maybe they will. Perhaps, as some speculate, they will flame out in the postseason.

Either way, watching the rebooted Warriors often leads to a nagging question:

Is this a one-and-done roster?

Not if general manager Bob Myers is able to work some summer magic.

“We’ve got 10 free agents; there are a lot of balls to juggle in the offseason,” Myers said Friday on the Warriors Insider Podcast. “That’s good, though, because I think we’ve developed a culture where players want to stay.”

Kevin Durant arrived last summer and can opt out this summer, though indications are he wants to stay. Though other free agents include Ian Clark, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West, Myers specifically addressed three core veterans: Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

After initially joking that he was “not sure” about the desire to re-sign Curry, Myers delivered the predictable answer: “For the record: We would love to have Steph Curry, going forward. Hopefully, he feels the same way. I think he does.”

Curry has consistently stated his desire to remain with the Warriors. Barring a shocking and catastrophic turn of events, that’s going to get done.

Iguodala and Livingston, however, are a bit trickier. Though both are key members of the team, neither is a starter. And both will be entering their 14th season.

“We’d love to keep them, and I’ve told them that,” Myers said. “We’d like to try to make it work. We have to approach it with what’s in our control, and that’s trying to find a way to keep them on the team. They’re not just really good players; they’re unbelievable people. So we’ll do everything we can.”

Myers conceded, too, that the unique skills possessed by Iguodala and Livingston make them difficult to replace. Even though the salary cap will rise slightly, along with the luxury-tax line, there are no guarantees.

“But you’re going to try,” Myers said. “But, conversely, there are times -- not with those guys -- but other times you’re looking at your roster, in any sport, and you go, ‘Yeah, we’ll probably let that guy go.’ That’s not the case at all.”

Perhaps foreseeing the summer -- or recalling the pursuit of Durant last summer -- Myers shifted into something that sounded like a recruiting pitch that could apply to players currently on the roster or those who might be on the market.

“They love playing for Steve,” he said. “We try to treat them fairly. We try to treat them as well as we can and provide them with all the resources to win and stay healthy and the environment of being in the Bay Area, and all the things outside of basketball that, shockingly, people may not realize players care about that are outside of the walls of the gym.

“This community, the diversity, the opportunity, the entrepreneurship, it’s a great place to sell to a player. But they really want to win. And I think we’ve shown we can win. So, hopefully, that gives us at least a good shot at keeping guys and then acquiring guys.”

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.