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Kerr 'not stressed' about contract situation

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steve Kerr has no concerns about his long-term status as coach of the Golden State Warriors despite heading into the final year of his contract.

Owner Joe Lacob and new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. have expressed a desire to get a contract extension and Kerr is confident something will work out — even if it doesn't happen before the start of the season.

"I feel great about my position here," Kerr said Monday. “I want to 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. I’m perfectly capable of coaching whether I have one year left or an extension. Makes no difference.”

Kerr has a 473-238 record in nine years as Warriors coach and has led the team to four championships and two other trips to the NBA Finals.

He has been a part of a championship core led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Golden State extended Green's contract earlier this offseason, keeping both him and Curry under team control through the 2025-26 season.

Like Kerr, Thompson is entering the final year of his contract and Dunleavy said the team wants to get extensions done with both.

“I think when you’re working off that idea, you can come to a deal and hopefully we can do that," Dunleavy said. “In those scenarios, there’s no real timeline in the immediate future that we have to abide by, so we’ll continue to have conversations. But the main goal is secure those guys moving forward, and I think they feel a little bit of the same. We are optimistic, and I think we are in a good place there.”

The Warriors are set to open training camp next week with hopes of rebounding from a second-round playoff exit last season.

Golden State never found a good groove in the 2022-23 season, with a preseason practice fight between Green and now-departed Jordan Poole hovering over the franchise all season.

Kerr and Dunleavy have repeatedly talked about a lack of “connectivity” on last season's team and believe that will improve this season.

“A year ago, we came in off a championship, and let our guard down a little bit, frankly,” Kerr said. “It’s human nature, but it’s sort of the way things work. When you lose in the second round and you feel like you’ve had a disappointing year, it’s a lot easier to come in and be focused. It’s a lot easier for me to come in as a coach and be more demanding, and I think the players will expect that, too.”

This year's team will have a different look with the offseason addition of Chris Paul, who was acquired in the deal that sent Poole to Washington.

Paul is a 12-time All-Star and has spent the offseason working his way into the new team. Dunleavy said he was particularly impressed that Paul recently took a 6 a.m. commercial flight to take part in an informal offseason scrimmage.

Kerr said he has enjoyed building up his relationship with Paul and appreciates that the 38-year-old prefers talking on the phone instead of texting.

“I’m thrilled to coach him,” Kerr said. “He’s one of the great competitors I’ve ever seen; his command of the game, the way he controls the action. His teams tend to get a great shot possession after possession. He understands what wins. So I’m really excited to coach Chris and I know he’s really excited to be here.”

The Warriors haven't quite figured out exactly how Paul will fit into the rotation with starters Curry, Thompson, Green, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney all back.

Paul has never come off the bench in his career and Kerr said he will work on various lineup combinations in training camp before settling on one for the start of the season.

“We basically have six starters, the way I look at, and only five can go each night,” he said. “I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do."



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