Warriors

Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with Warriors for long term

Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with Warriors for long term

SALT LAKE CITY --  Warriors guard Alec Burks has known stability for much of his NBA career.

That all changed a little more than a year ago, when -- after eight seasons with the Jazz -- he spent much of last season floating between three teams in six months. Even in free agency, when players exert the most control over their destination, he technically was an employee of two teams in the span of a week.

However, while standing on the floor where he's spent most of his NBA career, he expressed interest in being with his current team long term.

"Yeah, I like it here," Burks said following shoot-around Friday morning at Vivant Smart Home Arena. "Great culture, great players, great coaching staff. I would love to."

Burks' current reality didn't seem plausible during the onset of his career. During his first five seasons, he averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, and that performance led to a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. Then, his base began to crumble, as a series of stress fractures limited the wing to just 100 games over a two-year period, putting the stability of his career in peril.

Last season, Burks was traded three times, finishing the season averaging just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13 games with the Sacramento Kings. In July, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder, believing he'd play with Paul George and Russell Westbrook. When both were traded, he was let out of his contract, ultimately signing a one-year deal with the Warriors for basic factors.

"I just knew it was championship-oriented because they were winning so much," he said. "I could see how Steve [Kerr] coached them from afar and the way they worked."

While he's shooting just 42 percent for the season, Burks has shown an ability to score in spurts. Last month against the Grizzlies, he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes, helping the Warriors to their second win of the season.

With the Warriors in transition, Burks says he wants to be a part of their climb back to championship form.

"Now I'm a part of it, I just see how everything is laid back," he said. "They work hard, and they go about their business and have fun doing it."

While Burks sees a future in the Bay, his comfort level in Salt Lake is apparent. Just before Golden State's last matchup with Utah more than two weeks ago, Burks spent an extra 15 minutes on the floor conversing with old teammates and arena staff following his pregame workout, an ode to the stability he once had.

"I built real relationships with everybody in the arena. Not just the players but people that worked for the team. People that work in the arena," he said. "They showed me love, so I show them love back."

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors belong to the entire Bay Area]
 
Burks might have an opportunity to build that in the Bay for years to come, but as he knows all too well, that opportunity won't be promised.

"You never know in this league," he said. "You never know."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Draymond Green might not be rooting for the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, but one other prominent member of the Warriors’ roster will be.

Coach Steve Kerr delivered a message via social media on Friday, wishing the Niners well as they prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2.

"I just wanna say good luck to the 49ers," Kerr said. "Everybody's pulling for you guys, let's go."

[RELATED: How Dubs benefit from Cauley-Stein trade to Mavericks]

Draymond said after shootaround on Friday that he’ll be rooting for the Chiefs, whose roster features his close friend, defensive end Frank Clark.

Both Kerr and Green happen to know a thing or two about winning championships, but only one of them will be happy with the result from Miami.

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Willie Cauley-Stein walked out of shootaround, down a long corridor that leads to the Warriors' locker room in Chase Center late Friday morning in preparation for a game scheduled hours later against the Indiana Pacers. The trek marked the big man's last as a member of Golden State.

By Saturday morning, Cauley-Stein officially was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the Utah Jazz's second-round draft pick in 2020, ending his short tenure in the Bay Area. Along the way, the Warriors set themselves up for future flexibility. 

In the immediate aftermath, the Warriors shed Cauley-Stein's current $2.17 million salary and his $2.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season, while freeing up an open roster spot for this season and beyond. From a financial perspective, it sank Golden State $2.57 million below the hard cap, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. Additionally, the Warriors have enough salary space to convert the two-way deals of either Ky Bowman or Marquese Chriss. 

Six months ago, Cauley-Stein came to Warriors in search of career revitalization. After four years in Sacramento, he demanded that the Kings rescind his qualifying offer to make him a free agent last summer. After garnering more lucrative offers from other teams, he chose to sign a one-year contract with Golden State, which included the player option. With a new contract, the center hoped to keep the Warriors' postseason streak alive while earning a payday next summer. 

However, those wishes didn't come to fruition. A week before training camp, Cauley-Stein sprained his foot, causing the center to miss the first month of the season. His injury, coupled with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney missing significant time, led to a lost season for the big man.

Nonetheless, Cauley-Stein expressed a desire to stay with the Warriors long term, citing his relationship with coach Steve Kerr. 

"He wants to build a relationship with you," Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports Bay Area last month. "I think, in the past I hadn't had a relationship with my coach. [Former Kings coach Dave] Joerger, me and him had a pretty good rapport, pretty good, like cordial, but we never had like in-depth conversations about life and stuff like that, and the first couple of conversations I had with coach Kerr was real-life stuff and that hit home with me like, 'Damn, he really tried to get to know me.' "

[RELATED: Draymond not rooting for 49ers]

Unfortunately for Cauley-Stein, he won't get to continue that relationship with Kerr.

Now, with Dallas in need of a center with the loss of Dwight Powell, his hope to find a similar relationship with Rick Carlisle will immediately start in a Mavericks uniform.