Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is entering the last year of his contract. Nevertheless, he clearly expects to remain with the Warriors for the foreseeable future. In a press conference on Monday, Steve Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic that he's confident something will get done.
Kerr, via Slater's twitter:
"I feel great about my position here. I wanna be here. I know Mike and Joe want me here and so i'm very confident something will get done but, I'm not stressed about it at all. You know? I'm perfectly capable of coaching, whether i have one year left or an extension, it makes no difference. But I fully expect to be here."
The good news is Kerr's negotiations should be relatively painless for the Warriors and that's because coaching salaries aren't tied to a team's cap. Slater wrote, "Joe Lacob will need to pay up to retain Kerr, but it’s untaxed and untethered from the player salaries, leading to what should be a simpler negotiation." Slater even uses the term Kerr-friendly. So, while it's clear Kerr will re-sign with the Warriors, the only question is for how much?
Besides Kerr, the Warriors have another championship piece, Klay Thompson, whose contract expires this year. Klay signed a five-year $189.9 million maximum contract with Golden State in 2019. He will make $43.2 million this season.
NBA rumors: A Klay Thompson extension will be a lot more complicated for the Warriors than Steve Kerr's
Thompson's negotiations are where things get tricky. Klay wants to be in Golden State. Golden State wants Klay. However, Golden State is intent on not hitting the second tax apron next summer. If they do, they'll be penalized. Anthony Slater reports:
"if the Warriors are still into that second level of the tax bracket (where they currently live), they’ll be hit with a handful more punitive penalties, which include the loss of the mini midlevel exception, an inability to add buyout players in-season and frozen draft picks."
With that said, the Warriors can only offer Klay so much because of this second tax apron. According to The Athletic's cap expert, Danny Leroux, Golden State can only offer Klay around $42 million to $51.9 million as a starting salary. Slater argued it could be wiser for the Warriors to wait on committing a salary number to Thompson until next summer. That way, there will be a clearer view of financials and roster options.
No official offers have been made. Warriors General Manager, Mike Dunleavy Jr. said there's "no specific timeline" and no rush on either side to reach extension deals with Kerr or Thompson. Dunleavy said, “On both sides, there’s a desire to extend or be back, to make sure those guys are with the Golden State Warriors moving forward,” Dunleavy added. “Both sides feel that way and when you’re working off of that idea, you can come to a deal."
When those talks happen, provided things don't go horribly wrong, expect Kerr and Thompson to agree. After all, the Warriors' championship window is still open, but it's not going to be that way forever.