Exclusive: Steve Kerr confirms he signed multi-year contract extension with Warriors

Exclusive: Steve Kerr confirms he signed multi-year contract extension with Warriors

As a former reporter, in a manner of speaking, Steve Kerr is familiar with the phrase “Friday afternoon news dump.” It’s newsroom talk for stories released or leaked with the weekend approaching to minimize coverage.

He was hoping that would be the case with his contract extension, the theory being that such news would be buried beneath the avalanche of speculation and debate regarding NBA free agency.

It didn’t quite turn out that way because, well, Warriors news doesn’t bury well.

“My goal with this thing is for there not to be any news on details and then free agency begins tonight and it gets lost in the shuffle and nobody cares,” Kerr said Saturday, by phone, while driving to his San Diego-area home with his wife, Margot.

“I signed a multi-year extension,” he added. “And that’s it.”

Kerr declined to divulge further details, including the specific length of the extension.

Though the Warriors had yet to announce news of the extension, Kerr is expected to coach at least the first two seasons at Chase Center, the new arena in San Francisco, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

As for his annual salary, which sources on Friday put at around $10 million -- a 100-percent increase over his original five-year, $25 million contract -- Kerr implied it was less than that.

For the record, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on the job since 1997, is the highest-paid coach in the NBA, is entering the final season of a five-year deal worth a reported $55 million. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers signed a similar contract in May. 

In any case, Kerr’s salary will be commensurate to the success of the Warriors. They have reached the NBA Finals in all four seasons with him on the bench, coming away with three championships.

With one season remaining on a five-year contract, Kerr, 52, feels the timing is right. His health has improved to the degree that he’s comfortable making a commitment beyond the 2018-19 season.

There will be no news conference, as often is the case with players, related to Kerr’s extension. It’s evident the former high school sports writer and TV analyst wishes to avoid speculation in hopes of moving past his contract status and into the summer.

And into free agency, which, eventually, will bury the news of his extension.

Mychal Thompson wants Klay to emulate James Harden in one aspect in 2018-19

Mychal Thompson wants Klay to emulate James Harden in one aspect in 2018-19

Klay Thompson is a well-rounded, versatile player. He shot 52.6 percent from 2-point range last season. He shot 44 percent from 3-point range. He made 83.7 percent of his free throws. He averaged 2.5 assists per game. He's the Warriors' best perimeter defender.

There's not a noticeable weakness to his game.

But his father Mychal spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Saturday to talk about what kind of differences we'll see in Klay will be during the 2018-19 season and he shared the goal he's set for his son.

"I think you'll see a hungrier player. He's going to try to get more versatile, try to get to the basket a little more, more free throws, being more efficient on offense that way. I always tell him, try to make it a goal to shoot eight (free throws) a game. Eight or 10, like James Harden does," Mychal Thompson told Ostler.

Thompson attempted a career low 1.3 free throw attempts last season. His high-water mark was 3.3 free throw attempts per game during the 2014-15 season. By comparison, Harden attempted 10.1 free throw attempts last season and has surpassed 10 attempts per game in five of the last six seasons.

Of course, the elder Thompson was asked about his son's free agency next summer. Klay told the Bay Area News Group on Saturday that he wants to remain with the Warriors for the rest of his career. His father said the same thing at the Thompson Family Foundation's charity golf tournament on Saturday.

“Oh yeah, you can mark it down. Klay’s going to retire in the Warriors’ uniform. He’s going to play at Chase Center (the Warriors’ new arena, opening in 2019), and he’s not going to be at Chase Center as a visiting player, he’s going to be a Warrior for the next seven or eight years," Mychal said according to The Chronicle.

Klay Thompson addresses impending free agency: 'Number one on my list...'

Klay Thompson addresses impending free agency: 'Number one on my list...'

Editor's Note: The above video is from June 6, 2018, after the Warriors beat the Cavs in Game 3 in the NBA Finals.

With the 2018 offseason wrapping up, the talk surrounding the Warriors will shift to next summer's free agency of All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson.

Thompson and his father Mychal have said several times during the last few months (see above video) that their intention is stay with the Warriors long-term. But that's not stopping speculation that the seven-year veteran may bolt the Warriors following his eighth season.

On Saturday night, Thompson reiterated his desire to remain with the Warriors in an interview with the Bay Area News Group.

“I’ve said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life. Contract negotiations are way down the line. But I think we all have the same interest. I would love to be here for the rest of my career,” Thompson told Mark Medina.

Pressed on the possibility of signing an extension with the Warriors before he hits the open market, Thompson left the door slightly ajar by offering this:

“It’s tough to say. I’d definitely be interested. But at the end of the day, I’m going to be a free agent in 2019. Number one on my list would obviously be to stay with the Warriors,” Thompson told Medina.

Thompson is entering the final season of a four-year, $68.97 million contract. He will make $18,988 million for the 2018-19 season.