Warriors

Rick Barry doesn't get why Kevin Durant would want to leave Warriors

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Rick Barry doesn't get why Kevin Durant would want to leave Warriors

When the 2018-19 season concludes, regardless of whether the Warriors win a third straight NBA title or they get dethroned, Kevin Durant has a decision to make that could change the course of NBA history.

Does he re-sign with the Warriors and keep the dynasty together? Or does Durant leave for a new challenge elsewhere?

Those are the $200 million questions everyone wants the answer to.

Warriors legend Rick Barry can't fathom why Durant would choose the latter option.

"My big thing is, I don’t understand why you’d want to leave a situation where you become multiple [time] champions and have a record very few teams ever approach having," Barry said on KNBR 680 on Friday. "Why would you want to do that knowing that you don’t have to be the main guy and have all that responsibility all the time knowing that you’re going to get your times, your chances. He was [NBA Finals] MVP two times in a row. You’ve got great players on your team. To break that team up would be a shame."

Durant made his top free agent priority clear in a recent sit-down interview with Yahoo's Chris Haynes.

"I just want to make sure I get as much money as I can on my next deal so I can stack up my money and figure it out," Durant told Haynes. "That's just the plan. Play basketball and stack money."

If Durant is all about the money, his best bet is to stay with the Warriors. According to The Athletic's Danny Leroux, Golden State can offer Durant a five-year, $221.3 million contract. Other teams can only offer up to four years and $164 million.

Kerr pushes for Warriors to sign Looney to long-term deal this summer

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Kerr pushes for Warriors to sign Looney to long-term deal this summer

LOS ANGELES – Steve Kerr doesn’t often publicly discuss personnel matters faced by the Warriors. Those questions, he will say, are for general manager Bob Myers.

The coach made an exception on Friday. He expressed his desire that the team re-signs center/forward Kevon Looney to a long-term contract when he becomes a free agent in July.

“I was terrified all last year, after we denied the option, that we were going to lose him,” Kerr said. “He was great last year. But it was a bad free agent market for the players last summer. People just didn’t have money. So, we got lucky in terms of being able to keep him. And he’s turned into such a good player for us.

“I’m really, really hoping that we can keep him long term and that we can give him the contract he deserves and he can make some good money and we can enjoy having him on our team for many years.”

This does not imply that Kerr has no desire to see Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson remain Warriors beyond this season. Rather, it is more a matter of not wanting to lose Looney, who has become a valuable member of the rotation and whose cost will be a fraction of what Durant and Thompson will command on the open market.

Looney, 23, is a coach’s dream insofar as he rarely makes mistakes and is not prone to some of the mental errors that can plague young players. He has some physical limitations – he’s an average athlete – but he compensates with sound judgment and hoops intellect.

After a solid regular season, particularly on defense, Looney has been terrific through three postseason games. In 53 minutes off the bench, he has scored 35 points on while shooting an absurd 82.1 percent (14-of-17), adding 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, with one turnover.

“He’s gotten better and better,” Kerr said of Looney’s offense. “You can see the confidence growing every game . . . there’s a lot of dunks and a lot of put-backs, but also making that midrange shot. This is the best he has played in his career.”

Looney’s re-signed with the Warriors last summer at $1.57 million for one season. The Warriors will have full Bird rights this time around and, if so inclined, likely would be looking at deal that would pay somewhere in the range of $5-6 million annually.

Matt Barnes trolls Russell Westbrook in Kevin Durant-Pat Beverley tweet

Matt Barnes trolls Russell Westbrook in Kevin Durant-Pat Beverley tweet

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Sunday morning at 11, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In Thursday night's Game 3, the Warriors led the Clippers 73-52 at halftime.

When he walked off the court after the first 24 minutes, Kevin Durant had scored 27 points (10-of-15 shooting) and dished out four assists.

Before the third quarter started, former Warriors forward Matt Barnes took to Twitter to let his feelings be known.

This tweet receives a 10 out of 10.

Barnes, of course, is referring to Durant's former teammate, Russell Westbrook, who went 5 of 20 from the field in Oklahoma City's Game 2 loss in Portland on Tuesday night.

Durant received a lot of backlash from the media for how he handled facing Patrick Beverley in the first two games of the NBA playoff series (mostly Game 2).

[RELATEDNBA rescinds Durant's technical foul from Game 3 vs. Clips]

Warriors coach Steve Kerr even told reporters that he wanted to see a much more aggressive KD in Game 3.

With his 38-point outbust, the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP gave everybody what they were looking for.

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