So far, Warriors are on periphery of free agency


So far, Warriors are on periphery of free agency

Programming Note: Log on today at 11 a.m. for our live stream of the Warriors introductory press conference for rookies Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, live from Oakland!

The NBA free agencyperiod is 36 hours old, and already a lot has transpired. The Warriors,however, havent been involved in a lot of it. Because they are over the salarycap, the Warriors only have their mid-level exception worth approximately --5 million to spend.Thats not going tobe enough to put them in the running for any of the big boys. Still, theWarriors would like to get something done. Heres a quick thumbnail on whatsbeen going on with Golden State and some moves that have affectedthem.AndreMiller to re-sign with Nuggets: Few players in free agency made asmuch sense to the Warriors as Miller, one of the leagues most solid pointguards and a positive veteran influence.Those are two areaswhere the Warriors need help, but Miller wont be the guy. He is reportedlysigning a three-year, 9 million contract to stay in Denver. It seemed alongshot that the Warriors would be able to acquire Miller.Conventional wisdomheading into free agency was that Miller would likely receive an offer worthmore than 5 million.That Miller istaking 3 million per year to stay is a little bit surprising. It would seem tosuggest that either the Warriors didnt want to play Miller more than that peryear which they could have or that Miller had no interest in coming to theWarriors.Either way, not agreat sign.What aboutKirk Hinrich?: Point guard Kirk Hinrich, who played last season withthe Hawks, is drawing interest from more than a half-dozen teams and the Warriorsare one of them.Hinrich, likeMiller, makes sense for the Warriors for a number of reasons. He can play bothguard positions, can defend and possesses the veteran savvy the Warriors arelooking at.Hes been banged-upa little bit for the past three or four years, but if hes healthy he wouldgive the Warriors a backcourt toughness they desperately lack rightnow.Warriorsinterested in trading for Dwight Howard: There was a report over theweekend that the Warriors are still interested in trading for Dwight Howardeven though he has made it clear he has no interest in playing in Golden Statelong-term.Well, a pattern isdeveloping and its this: When a star player seems to be available, theWarriors are always mentioned as a possible partner. Its happened with ChrisPaul, its happened with Lamar Odom, with Brandon Roy, Pau Gasol and a fewothers.It seems apparentthe Warriors dont mind when theyre linked to these types of players becauseit gives the perception they are in the middle of all the action and have ashot at acquiring some of them. But until the Warriors land a player of thatstature, its natural for fans to be skeptical that they even can.The reality isHoward coming to the Warriors is beyond remote. He doesnt want to play here,and the Warriors dont have a realistic package to put together.Warriorsinvolved in talks with J.J. Hickson: This would seem to make sense.Hickson is a player the Warriors were interested in signing after the Kings hadwaived him late last season.The Warriors seemedpoised to sign Hickson at that time, but he was claimed off waivers by Portland then subsequently waived again.Hickson certainlymakes some sense for Golden State. But he wouldnt be the kind of upgrade manyfans were hoping for.Noextension for Curry: It was reported a few days ago that the Warriorsand Stephen Curry were unlikely to reach an agreement on a contract extension.But that was not a surprise.Late in the season,Curry and the Warriors both acknowledged that it was probable that both sideshold off on any kind of deal. Why? Well, because the Warriors need to be sureCurry is healthy before they make him a part of the long-term future, and Curryneeds to be healthy to receive the kind of contract he likely feels hedeserves.Charactercounts: After Thursdays draft, Warriors owner Joe Lacob and generalmanager Bob Myers talked extensively about the character of their top threepicks: Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green.There seems to be apattern developing with the Warriors, and its that theyre targeting thesekinds of players.They traded StephenJackson for Richard Jefferson months ago, and even accepted an extra year onJeffersons deal. The reason was because the Warriors didnt want to bring avolatile veteran like Jackson onto their young team.While thats a toughstrategy to criticize, the logical extension is that theyre most likely notinterested in players such as Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, Reggie Evans orDelonte West.

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.