WALNUT CREEK -- After winning more games than any other team and then posting the best postseason in NBA history, the Warriors have tossed the rest of the league into a summer of scrambling to compete or surrender.
Yet here are the champs, having observed the front office maneuver adroitly enough to re-sign every key free agent, making it evident they firmly believe they’ll be improved next season.
“We have great potential and the opportunity to do some amazing things and win more championships,” Stephen Curry said Monday afternoon, referring to the Warriors returning 12 players from their roster. “When you have that chemistry, you don’t want it to end. You don’t want to have to start over and, I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘rebuild.’ But (we can) just take advantage of the camaraderie and the chemistry and the vibe that we’ve created around the Warriors organization.
“So for them to get it done and sign all the guys they needed to sign and add two great players in Omri Casspi and Nick Young, and draft Jordan Bell, I think we got better.”
Though Curry conceded the Warriors can’t afford to “sleepwalk” through the regular season, his comments echo those made last month by Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
It was Kerr who told NBCSportsBayArea.com that he thinks the Warriors would be “better, for sure” than they were while winning 67 games last season and rolling to a 16-1 postseason that concluded with a five-game NBA Finals win over Cleveland.
Meeting local media in a basketball setting for the first time this summer, Curry -- who last month signed a five-year contract worth a league record $201 million -- is hosting his fourth annual SC30 Select basketball camp featuring some of the top prep players in the country.
He also acknowledged that even if the Warriors are improved, that some of the moves made by other playoff teams, particularly those in the Western Conference, would test any hopes of a back-to-back title.
To a team with current MVP Russell Westbrook, the Thunder added perennial All-Star Paul George. The Rockets added perennial All-Star Chris Paul to a team with MVP runner-up James Harden. The Timberwolves, already with conceivable the most gifted young roster in the league, traded for perennial All-Star Jimmy Butler.
“It’s obviously great for the league that there is that much movement and shuffling of the deck and teams taking chances with personnel to try to get better,” Curry said. “You obviously look around the Western Conference . . . the amount of talent up and down the board is going to be crazy.
“Just because we have the same team coming back, we’re (still) going to have to go through some different challenges and answer the bell. But around the league, it’s great that winning still matters and everybody is trying to make that happen.”
One team particular seemed to intrigue Curry: Houston.
"I’m very curious, because I’ve got to play against them four times, at least,” he said of the Harden-Paul pairing. “I’ll have to see how they work together, and we’ll have to figure out how to beat them.
“I guess the eye test may seem like it’ll be a little different. But they’re two high-IQ guys that know how to play the game and should know how to adjust to each other if they have to.”