Warriors

Steve Kerr: Multiple reasons Warriors will be even better in 2017-18

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Steve Kerr: Multiple reasons Warriors will be even better in 2017-18

Steve Kerr sees the frenzied activity around the NBA in recent weeks and concedes some of it likely is a response to the superiority of the Warriors while rolling to their second championship in three seasons.

So, of course, the league will be happy to hear the coach issue a warning.

“We’re going to be better, for sure,” Kerr said in a weekend phone interview with NBCSportsBayArea.com.

Better than the team that posted a 67-15 record in the regular season before concluding a 16-1 postseason that stands as the best postseason record in history.

Kerr cites the core of the roster remaining intact, the second season with Finals MVP Kevin Durant as a Warrior and the increased firepower off the bench with the additions of Nick Young and Omri Casspi.

“If you look at last year’s roster, the one thing that was lacking was (3-point) shooting off the bench,” Kerr said. “Ian (Clark) did a great job. He was kind of prominent shooter off the bench. We have other guys who could score, but their main role is to do other things for us.

“But in terms of having designated shooters, we were able to add two really, really high-quality guys. Both are 6-7, 6-8, so they can switch and guard multiple positions. They’re both really good fits.”

The Warriors last season ranked 29th -- in a 30-team league -- in 3-pointers made off the bench. Young, a career 37.6-percent shooter from deep, is coming off a season in which he shot 40.4 percent. Casspi is shooting 36.7 percent beyond the arc for his career, and shot 34.9 percent last season while limited to 36 games due to injuries.

Young and Casspi join a team that generally was considered the best in the NBA, and that was before the Warriors bossed through a postseason that ended with a five-game destruction of the defending champion Cavaliers.

Within days of the championship parade in Oakland, teams were making moves designed to fortify their rosters, most notably with Chris Paul going to Houston, Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, Paul George to Oklahoma City and Gordon Hayward to Boston. Carmelo Anthony finally is ready to flee the Knicks and Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland.

And, yes, there is good reason to believe all this All-Star movement is connected to the dominance displayed by the Warriors.

“I guess some of it,” Kerr said. “When you think about certain teams, and what they’re doing, you could attribute it to that. But on the other hand, everybody is just trying to get better. That’s what they should be doing. I don’t think it’s that earth-shattering.

“So I wouldn’t say that everything is attributed to us, because every team is in its own little world, with their own set of circumstances whatever that is. Everyone has to do what is best for them.”

More from Kerr:

On Lakers coach Luke Walton providing a scouting report on ‘Swagy P’ -- “He just said he was great last year, fun to be around, a great teammate and he thought he would thrive with our veteran group. He also said he was much better defensively last year than people realized. That’s what we’re going to ask of him next year. He’s got to be really good defensively. We know he can shoot.”

On his health -- “I’m in good hands. I’m seeing all the right people. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m getting a little better, so we’ll see where it all goes. I’m having a good summer, getting in the ocean a lot and enjoying myself.”

On the possibility of a White House visit, which NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes champions should make -- “We haven’t had any discussion about it. So we’ll just see if the invitation comes. And we won’t hold our breath.”

Kevon Looney would 'love to stay' with Warriors, hopes it works out

Kevon Looney would 'love to stay' with Warriors, hopes it works out

LOS ANGELES -- Aware that Steve Kerr one day earlier urged the Warriors to offer him a long-term contract, Kevon Looney paused and broke into a broad grin at the mention of it Saturday.

“Yeah, I heard what he said,” Looney said. “It’s good to have that kind of support from the coach. I hope it works out.”

Kerr made it clear Friday that he was glad Looney did not leave upon becoming a free agent last summer, adding he believes the 23-year-old center/forward had done enough to earn a long-term deal -- and that he hopes it’s with the Warriors.

So does Looney, who has become a staple of the team’s playing rotation.

“I’d love to stay here,” he said. “I like being on this team. I want to be there when Chase Center opens later this year.”

Looney is earning $1.57 million this season. The valuable backup becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, the second consecutive summer he will hit the market.

[RELATED: Why Iguodala hopes Looney leaves]

This time, however, the Warriors have Bird rights on Looney, giving them considerable financial flexibility to pursue a new contract.

“For two years now, he has been a rock for us,” Kerr said Saturday morning. “So when I mentioned that [Friday], yeah, I really hope that’s here. I want him to be here for a long time. I think everybody in this locker room wants Loon to be rewarded for his effort.”

Looney set career highs in games played (80), minutes (18.5 per game), points (6.3 points per game) and rebounds (5.2 per game), among other categories, during the 2018-19 regular season. He has averaged 11.7 points in the Warriors' three playoff games thus far.

Steve Kerr believes Andre Iguodala can play as long as he wants, but will he?

Steve Kerr believes Andre Iguodala can play as long as he wants, but will he?

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Iguodala has one more year left on his contract, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes the 16-year NBA veteran isn't close to being done.

"I think he can play beyond this contract if he really wants," Kerr said after practice Saturday morning. "He may not want to -- he may just go to the golf course and call it a career -- but he can keep playing if he wants."

Despite his NBA mileage, Iguodala, 34, continues to be a key contributor, averaging 10.7 points, 4.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the postseason, making good on the three-year, $48 million deal he signed with the Warriors in 2017.

"Not a lot of players who stay relevant deep into their careers, almost all of them have high basketball IQs," Kerr said. "He still has his athleticism. It takes him longer to warm up and longer to cool down, but it's still there."

In Game 3 of the first-round series against the Clippers, Iguodala finished with 15 points, three assists and two rebounds, helping the Warriors take a 2-1 series advantage, showing athleticism not normally seen from a player his age. 

"Some of those dunks the other night, plays he was making in the paint," Kerr said. "The guy is a remarkable athlete, and the combination of his athleticism, his work ethic and his brain is going to allow him to play." 

However, Iguodala might be out of the league sooner than his coach thinks. Last November, he told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that his NBA days could be numbered. 

“I’m going to be done soon,” he said. “I could probably play a legit five more years, but I’ll probably max out at three more after this year -- maybe three more.

[RELATED: Kerr jokes about trading spots with Iguodala]

“But if I’m not here, that will weigh heavily on what I will do. I possibly have another year here -- if we win. That’s it. I know that. I’m fine with it.”

Only Iguodala knows how long he can play, but however long he wants to stay with the Warriors, it seems his coach will welcome with open arms.