Warriors

Steph Curry, Steve Kerr unfazed by trade deadline arms race in East

currystephkerrstevelaugh.jpg
APUSATSI

Steph Curry, Steve Kerr unfazed by trade deadline arms race in East

OAKLAND – It’s evident that the hyperactive work of some Eastern Conference contenders at the trade deadline is directly connected to two things, the absence of LeBron James and the chance to knock off the defending champion Warriors.

Bring ‘em on, says Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

“I see them all trying to steal the throne,” Kerr told reporters after shooting Friday in Phoenix. “That’s the whole idea. The whole thing in the NBA is if you’ve got a chance to win a title, if you’ve got a team that has an opportunity, you go for it.”

“I like our chances, in terms of what we’re about and what we’re capable of,” he said in Phoenix.

Three of the four primary contenders in the East dealt high-quality players this week. The Bucks, at the top of the conference, acquired forward Nikola Mirotic, the second-place Raptors added center Marc Gasol and the fifth-place 76ers brought in forward Tobias Harris.

While Boston made no major move, the Pacers, who are expected to fall out of the top four, nonetheless added guard Wesley Matthews.

“It’s about as wild of a day as I can ever remember, trade-deadline wise,” Kerr said. “There’s always a handful of deals, but I don’t remember anything like that. With everybody in the East loading up, it’s definitely an interesting time in the NBA.”

The Eastern Conference was made more interesting when James – who went to eight straight Finals with the Heat and the Cavaliers – left Cleveland for Los Angeles.

“You’ve got a lot of teams back there who are trying to seize an opportunity that hasn’t been there for a long time,” Kerr said. “A lot of those East teams were already really good. You look at what Milwaukee and Toronto have done, and Philadelphia. Boston was the favorite going on, and they’re still loaded with talent.”

[RELATED: Can any Eastern Conference teams dethrone the Dubs?]

Do the Warriors believe any of them are positioned to take down the champs?

“No,” Curry said. “I feel like we want to get back to where we were and feel like we should be, and that’s winning a championship.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, everything that you would do as a team or as a player would be geared to knocking off the champion, whoever they are.

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’ organization 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.