Myers: 'Unequivocally' there is no Iggy or Livingston without Durant

Myers: 'Unequivocally' there is no Iggy or Livingston without Durant

OAKLAND -- Bob Myers did not drop to his knees and thank Kevin Durant for the financial sacrifice that gave the Warriors the financial flexibility to retain the likes of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

The team’s president/general manager came exceedingly close, though.

“His gesture of taking less gave us the ability to be very aggressive in pursuing Shaun and Andre,” Myers said Friday. “And I can pretty much unequivocally say without it, we’re not looking at the team we have right now.”

Upon opting out of the contract he signed last July -- a move that allowed the Warriors to utilize Bird rights to retain Iguodala and Livingston -- Durant could have demanded and gotten the maximum, roughly $34.8 million, to return to the Warriors next season.

The general belief was that Durant would accept $31.8 million, though league sources had informed NBCSportsBayArea.com that he would be flexible and was willing to go a few million lower than that.

Durant went nearly $6.8 million lower, re-signing for a deal that will pay him $25 million next season.

“(With) Kevin forgoing the max, which he obviously deserves and could’ve gotten from us or any team in the league, that allowed us to attempt to sign Andre and Shaun and not have to renounce them,” Myers said.

“What Kevin did shows who he is, shows what he’s about and it’s clear that that’s winning.”

The expectation is Durant will opt out of his new deal next summer and re-sign a long-term deal starting around $35 million and escalating well above $40 million.

The Warriors entered free agency last week with a projected cap on what they were willing to spend and still exceeded it, according to Myers. Their commitment to bringing back a successful core was greater than their desire to contain payroll.

And that was even with Durant’s assistance.

“To be honest, I would have never thought that Kevin and his business partner, Rich (Kleiman), would give us the opportunity to take less and allow us to be as aggressive,” Myers said. “I didn’t foresee that. But when given that opportunity we said, ‘Wow. Now we can go hard at bringing Shaun and Andre back quickly.”

Steph Curry breaks his own NBA record vs the Suns

Steph Curry breaks his own NBA record vs the Suns

For the first time in his career, Steph Curry opened the season with three straight games of scoring at least 30 points.

On Monday night vs Phoenix, the streak was snapped when he scored only 29 points (what a slacker).

But it was still a special night for the two-time MVP, as he and his father, Dell, moved past Dolph and Danny Schayes and into second place on the NBA's all-time scoring list for father-son combos.

The Currys have combined for 27,226 points and now trail only Joe and Kobe Bryant (38,895).

Additionally, there is this little nugget:

Curry went 6-for-13 from 3-point range vs the Suns, which is surprising when you consider that he went 0-for-5 in the first quarter.

The five-time All-Star is 22-for-47 (46.8 percent) from 3-point territory so far this season. If he maintains this pace, he will make 451 3-pointers -- which would shatter the NBA record of 402 that he set in 2015-16.

In the Warriors' fifth game that season, Curry went 7-for-11 from deep vs the Clippers. And in the sixth game, he went 8-for-16 vs the Nuggets.

This means that Curry made 36 3-pointers through the first six games, so he has his work cut out for him if he wants to eclipse that mark.

The Warriors' next two opponents are the Wizards and Knicks, and Curry has torched both teams throughout his career:
-Wizards = 26.1 points per game (4th most vs any team), 48.6 percent from deep (5th best vs any team)
-Knicks = 24.6 points per game (8th most vs any team), 50.7 percent from deep (2nd best vs any team)

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Will Warriors pick up Damian Jones' option or risk losing him in free agency?

Will Warriors pick up Damian Jones' option or risk losing him in free agency?

The deadline is eight days away -- Halloween to be exact.

The Warriors have until next Wednesday to decide whether or not to pick up Damian Jones' fourth-year option for the 2019-20 season.

Will they guarantee his $2.3 million salary, or decline and risk losing Jones in unrestricted free agency in July?

One year ago, the Warriors were in a similar situation with Kevon Looney. In the end, they declined his $2.23 million option -- which made sense at the time. Over his first two seasons combined, Looney appeared in just 57 games after undergoing surgery on both of his hips.

[RELATEDSteve Kerr was nervous Warriors could lose 'enormously valuable' Kevon Looney]

And outside of a terrifice performance on Oct. 27 vs the Wizards, he hadn't yet shown the ability to be a reliable rotation player worth that sort of financial commitment.

In hindsight, Golden State made a mistake because Looney -- who turned 22 years old in February -- blossomed into a key contributor who averaged 20 minutes per game over the first 19 playoff games (he barely played in Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals). 

Fortunately for the Warriors, not only were they able to retain Looney after he did not receive any offers in free agency, but he returned on a minimum deal -- worth about $660,000 less than what his fourth-year option would have paid him.

Fast forward to today and there's no doubt that Jones -- in a small sample size of four games -- has flashed the potential necessary to make the Warriors believe he's worth the $2.3 million for next season.

He started against Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic and No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton and more than held his own. The 23-year old is averaging 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over 21 minutes per game, while shooting an insane 85 percent from the field.

[RELATEDWarriors solve three major problems by cutting back on fouls vs. Suns]

"This is why we have to have Damian because you think of the past week ... you have to have that kind of size to deal with the position," Steve Kerr told reporters after the win over Phoenix on Monday night. "I thought he passed this week's test with flying colors. He's doing really well."

Of Jones' 17 buckets this season, 12 have been dunks and 14 have been assisted (eight from Steph Curry). Quite simply, the Warriors love throwing him lobs because Jones can do things that very few human beings are capable of.

"He's a fun guy to play with because of that," Kerr added. "It's great to have him in the starting group because that's when we have the most shooting out on the floor. And then he gives us that vertical threat that makes it tougher to guard. I think the guys really enjoy playing with him.

"He still can get better defending without fouling because what he's got to understand is he's so physically imposing that he doesn't have to foul -- just make people shoot over the top of you. They're already afraid of you, so don't let them off the hook."

Jones is by no means a finished product and he can still improve in several areas. But it's probably safe to assume that the Warriors will pick up his option and lock him in on the books for the first season at Chase Center...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller