Steve Kerr is ready to integrate D'Angelo Russell into the Golden State Warriors' offense.

Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, but Golden State managed to offset that loss, somewhat, by acquiring guard Russell in a sign-and-trade.

Kerr discussed the addition of Russell during a recent appearance on NBC Sports Bay Area's The Warriors Insider Podcast.

"[Russell's a] dynamic player in the pick-and-roll, excellent shooter and I like his in-between game," Kerr said.

"He makes a lot of plays out of the pick-and-roll. Those float shots are tough to master, and he makes those pretty routinely. So, we can do a lot of things with D'Angelo on and off the ball."

Russell is expected to slot into the Warriors' backcourt next to star Stephen Curry in 2019-20 as Klay Thompson continues to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"I'm anxious to get started with him and see how he's going to play with Steph," Kerr said.

"We'll probably run more pick-and-roll than we have in the past, given our change in personnel. But, I'm really excited to have him on board and can't wait to coach him."

Russell had a career year for the Nets last season, averaging 21.1 points and seven assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range. He made his first All-Star team, as well.

Russell inked a four-year max contract, but many have speculated the Warriors may look to move him for another asset once Thompson returns healthy.

"That's the business of it. It is what it is," Russell told reporters earlier this month, via The Athletic. "You put yourself in position to go somewhere for a long period of time and it may not be what it is a year later. That's the business. I've come to the realisation of that, I understand that. Whatever situation Ism in, I know the business side of it. We'll just see. I can't predict it."

The Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create salary cap space to land Russell. They also signed center Willie Cauley-Stein, along with wings Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is concerned with how the Los Angeles Lakers handled their recruitment of Anthony Davis.

The saga was well noted, with Davis publicly wanting a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles blatantly going after Davis near the trade deadline in February before negotiations with the Pelicans fell through.

For Kerr, that left a bad taste in his mouth, even though other players have negotiated their way to different teams. Kerr said Davis' situation is different because he had a couple of years left on his contract with New Orleans.

"I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation," Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast. "Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, 'I want to leave'. That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.

"When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then (once the contract runs out) it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.

"If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways, that’s one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking — and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league."

Eventually Davis got his wish and joined Los Angeles this offseason, but only after he played on a part-time basis with New Orleans after the initial trade rumors.

"As a former player, I would always sort of lean toward player empowerment, guys who have earned their right to free agency," Kerr said. "If they want to make a move for their own careers, I’m all for it. They’ve earned that right.

"My only issue is when a player who is under contract decides not to honour the contract. That’s a problem. That’s something that can really affect the league."

Kerr cited LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both of whom moved on to different teams in 2018 and 2019, respectively, as the proper way to transition to another team in the league.

"There’s a way to move and a way to not move," Kerr said. "What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That’s how it should be done.

"But it’s a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s damaging for everybody."

Steve Kerr believes the Golden State Warriors are going to look "a lot different" next season following their loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

Golden State's three-peat bid was ended on Thursday after the Raptors dethroned the Warriors with a 4-2 series victory.

Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered serious injuries in the Finals and are expected to miss a majority of next season.

Warriors head coach Kerr addressed the uncertainty heading into 2019-20, telling reporters: "Our team is going to look a lot different next year.

Durant will be out at least a year recovering from a ruptured Achilles, while Thompson attempts to bounce back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

This means two All-Stars will be missing from the Warriors' starting line-up for a while. Durant could decline the player option in his contract, and Kerr is unsure what the two-time NBA Finals MVP is thinking.

"I have no idea what Kevin's going to do. I know we all want him back," Kerr said.

And then there is DeMarcus Cousins, who missed a large chunk of 2018-19 recovering from a torn Achilles only to tear his quadricep in the first round of the playoffs.

While Cousins returned for the Finals, he was inconsistent and his one-year rental playing for the veteran minimum is over.

Kerr encouraged the big man to seek a more lucrative deal elsewhere, but said he could be welcome back again if he wanted to stay.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wants to come back," Kerr said.

When asked if this was the end of Golden State's dynasty, Kerr responded "No. I don't think in those terms."

Golden State's roster will be headlined by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green next season, but they are reportedly still prepared to give max offers to Durant and Thompson, despite their injuries. The Warriors are preparing for a fresh start in the city of San Francisco and it may be the beginning of a new era for the franchise.

The Golden State Warriors' attempt at a NBA three-peat came up short.

Golden State's bid at history ended when they fell to the Toronto Raptors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Kyle Lowry scored 26 points to lead the Raptors to the victory while Pascal Siakam chipped in 26.

Klay Thompson finished with 30 in the losing effort but left in the third quarter with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.

The Warriors now turn their attention to the offseason as their roster could look different in 2019-20.

Here are three questions Golden State will soon have to answer:

 

What will happen with Kevin Durant?

This is arguably the biggest question of the offseason.

All season long, Kevin Durant was expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He had reportedly been considering leaving the Warriors and was linked to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, among others.

But, Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 against the Raptors and will be out for most, if not all, of next season.

It is unclear if the injury changes Durant's offseason plans. He could utilise his player option and return to the Warriors, although that is reportedly his last resort. Or, he could still choose to sign elsewhere — at least three teams, as well as the Warriors, are still open to giving the 30-year-old a max contract, according to ESPN.

Durant's choice will have a major impact on Golden State's future, one way or the other.

 

Who will play center?

The Warriors will enter the offseason with a big hole in the middle of their line-up.

DeMarcus Cousins surprisingly signed a one-year deal with Golden State last July. He was inconsistent in 2018-19 and also dealt with a torn quad during the playoffs. But he will still most likely be out of the Warriors' price range this offseason and he is expected to receive a bigger contract from another team.

Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell are both also set to become free agents.

The Warriors appear like they will attempt to re-sign either Looney or Bell, if not both. They also could look to add a big man via trade or with the mid-level exception.

Damian Jones, who has played in just 49 NBA games, has one season remaining on his contract and should be back with Golden State in 2019-20.

 

How will the bench be reshaped?

At the beginning of the Steve Kerr era, the bench was a strength for the Warriors. But, it became a weakness this season.

Andre Iguodala was in and out of the starting line-up and can be a contributor defensively. The wing, however, undeniably took a step back on the other end of the floor, as did long-time backup point guard Shaun Livingston.

Quinn Cook became a reliable spot-up shooter but 2018-19 was the last year of his current contract. The Warriors also did not receive much this season from 2018 first-round pick Jacob Evans.

The Warriors will have to add a few pieces to their second unit in the offseason and almost certainly will not have the cap space to do it. They will need to get creative.  

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hailed his "incredible" team after they dealt with "devastating" injuries in their loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

Two-time reigning champions the Warriors were dethroned by the Raptors on Thursday following a 114-110 defeat in Game 6 at Oracle Arena.

Already missing star Kevin Durant after he ruptured his Achilles in Game 5, Klay Thompson went down with a knee injury as the Raptors went on to seal their first NBA title thanks to a 4-2 series win.

It snapped Golden State's domination after five successive Finals but Kerr was in awe of his team post-game in the Bay Area.

"I want to congratulate Toronto," Kerr told reporters. "They're a fantastic basketball team. Great defensively, share the ball, play a beautiful style, a lot of great two-way players and a lot of veteran players who have been in this league contributing for a long time.

"And so I'm very happy for them. Winning a championship is the ultimate in this league, and they have got a lot of guys who have earned this. Congrats to Toronto, to their organisation, to their fans, they are a worthy champion.

"Let me say a couple of words about our team. It's actually, it's hard to put into words how I feel about our team. What I've witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other.

"This just doesn't happen. A group of guys like this doesn't come around together and do what they did over the last five years. And I've been lucky enough to be their coach. That's what I told them in the locker room. I can't tell you my gratitude in terms of just being put in this position to be with this group and to coach them and to help them.

"But I could not be any luckier as a coach to be with these guys every day and to watch them compete and, boy, do they compete. I think they showed that throughout this series and throughout the playoffs."

Thompson poured in 30 points before he suffered a knee injury midway through the third quarter – the Warriors star later seen on crutches.

"It's amazement that we're sitting in this position with, during the game we have a chance to win the game and force a Game 7 and go back to Toronto, and you just think, how? How has this group of guys put themselves in position to do it?" Kerr continued.

"And then when Klay goes down and is out for the game, it's just sort of a, you've got to be kidding me, like this has to stop. But it's just the way it's gone. I don't know if it's related to five straight seasons of playing 100-plus games and just all the wear and tear, but it's devastating."

Kerr added: "It's just the nature of these injuries, the severity of these injuries. And we'll know more about Klay. But we can sit here and say, well, if this hadn't happened or that hadn't happened, that doesn't matter.

"What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear and Klay suffered a knee injury. And we'll know more before too long. But it's just brutal. It's just brutal of what these guys have had to deal with and what they're dealing with right now."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he is "devastated" for Kevin Durant after the star suffered an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

The Warriors stayed alive against the Toronto Raptors with a 106-105 win on Monday, however, the crucial victory was overshadowed by Durant's injury.

Durant – making his return from a calf injury after missing nine games – left Scotiabank Arena on crutches following an incident in the second quarter.

The 30-year-old appeared to re-injure his leg as he had to be helped off the court with less than 10 minutes remaining before half-time in Toronto.

Warriors president Bob Myers said Durant suffered an Achilles injury, with an MRI scheduled for Tuesday to determine the severity.

"I just told the team I didn't know what to say," Kerr said. "On the one hand, I'm so proud of them. Just the amazing heart and grit that they showed.

"On the other, I'm just devastated for Kevin. It's a bizarre feeling that we all have right now. An incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time."

Durant left the floor after he came up limping following a drive to the basket with a little more than 9:45 to play before halftime. He was then helped back to the locker room by team-mates Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala.

A soon-to-be free agent, Durant scored 11 points on three-of-five shooting and grabbed two rebounds before exiting.

The Warriors ended up holding off the Raptors when Kyle Lowry missed a game-winning three-point attempt at the buzzer.

"We got stops. Our defense was bending down the stretch, but we didn't break," Kerr said. "The last stop was tremendous, amazing defense on that last play from all five guys."

The Warriors will host the Raptors in Game 6 at the Oracle Arena on Thursday.

Klay Thompson insisted his injured hamstring was not an issue after producing a performance his Golden State Warriors coach described as "amazing" in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Having hurt his left leg during a series-levelling victory for the Warriors in Toronto, Thompson sat out his team's 123-109 defeat to the Raptors in Game 3 on Wednesday.

The five-time All-Star was back in action on Friday but, despite scoring a team-high 28 points, was unable to prevent the Raptors triumphing again, meaning Toronto lead 3-1 to sit on the verge of a first title in their history.

"It didn't affect me," Thompson told the media after playing 42 minutes.

"Like I said before, it's the Finals, it's a long season, you play a hundred-plus games, you're going to be banged up. But you've just got to dig deep.

"No one's going to feel sorry for you, so you just got to go out there, man up and play the best of your ability."

Golden State coach Steve Kerr praised both Thompson and Kevon Looney, who played in Game 4 despite dealing with a fracture near his collarbone.

"Klay was amazing, with a tweaked hamstring to do what he did," Kerr said. "Looney as well, coming in and playing 20 minutes given his injury status.

"So both those guys are ...they're warriors. No pun intended. They just compete, compete, compete, and I'm really proud of both of them.

"Both played really well, but again, it wasn't enough in terms of our team effort."

While both Thompson and Looney returned to action, Kevin Durant is still yet to be involved during the Finals due to a calf problem.

Game 5 of the series takes place in Toronto on Monday.

Steve Kerr insists the Golden State Warriors are going to "fight the whole way" after their hopes of a third successive NBA title suffered a severe blow on Friday.

Even with the return of Klay Thompson from injury, the Warriors fell to a 105-92 defeat in Game 4 of the Finals against the Toronto Raptors, who now require just one more win to secure a first championship in their history.

However, the Warriors know all too well that a 3-1 lead can be overturned, having been on the wrong end of a historic comeback by LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 Finals.

Kerr expects his players to show a reaction following back-to-back defeats on home court, with Game 5 taking place in Canada on Monday.

"We're not thinking about winning three games, we're thinking about winning one game and that's the task," the Warriors coach told the media.

"I know we're capable. We've got a lot of talent and we've got a lot of pride, and these guys have been to the Finals five straight years for a reason.

"They're unbelievably competitive. And they're together, and they're going to fight. They're going to fight the whole way.

"So we'll go try to get one win and, if we can do that, come back here and see what happens."

The Warriors held a narrow lead at half-time but Toronto produced a stunning third quarter, outscoring their opponents 37-21 to seize control.

Kerr was quick to praise the Raptors, who were led by 36 points from three-time All Star Kawhi Leonard.

"We're playing a really good team that moves the ball. I think we have had our moments defensively, but we haven't been able to string together the stops over the course of a game that we have needed to," he said.

"I give them the credit. They have just played really well offensively, and they got a lot of threats out there, a lot of shooters, a lot of passers.

"So they're playing well, and we have got to do better."

Thompson had 28 points for the Warriors after missing Game 3 with a strained hamstring.

The Golden State Warriors made a change to their lineup on Sunday and Steve Kerr explained the decision to start DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins returned to the court in the opener of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors after missing most of the postseason with a torn quad and surprisingly started Game 2.

Golden State coach Kerr told The Athletic after the game he made the adjustment in part to offset the loss of Kevin Durant, who has been out since straining his calf in the team's second-round series.

"We talked about it as a staff two days ago," Kerr said. "It was pretty much unanimous that we should start [Cousins]. He's starting to feel healthier. I thought he gave us some good minutes the other night.

"And let's face it, with the injury to Kevin, we need some scoring punch from another position besides the backcourt."

Cousins finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes of action in Golden State's 109-104 win, which evened the series at 1-1.

Warriors center Kevon Looney and Klay Thompson both left the game with injuries.

"[Cousins] was great," Kerr said during his post-game news conference. "We came in thinking, all right, he can maybe play 20 minutes and he gave us almost 28 … He was fantastic and we needed everything he gave out there, his rebounding, his toughness, his physical presence, getting the ball in the paint, and just playing big, like he does. We needed all of that."

Warriors star Stephen Curry also praised Cousins after the victory.

"He was special," Curry told reporters. "Obviously you get more comfortable, more minutes and playing aggressive when he's out there, puts a lot of pressure on their defense. And even on our defensive end, making his presence felt blocking shots, being in the right place at the right time. It's a big lift for us. I know he's been waiting a long time to be on this stage."

The Warriors will host Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

DeMarcus Cousins reflected on an "incredible moment" after he played a key role in helping the Golden State Warriors draw level in the NBA Finals.

Having played just eight minutes off the bench on his return from injury in a losing cause in Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors, centre Cousins was named a starter by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Sunday.

The 28-year-old justified his elevation too, contributing 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists during his 28 minutes on the court.

Kerr praised Cousins for a "fantastic" performance after Golden State secured a 109-104 victory on the road, meaning the series stands at 1-1 as it moves to California.

"I've leaned on my whole team-mates throughout this whole process, but this was an incredible moment for me," Cousins told the media.

"I'm not satisfied and I'm looking forward to Game 3."

A four-time All-Star who signed with Golden State while still recovering from a serious Achilles injury, Cousins appeared in danger of missing out on the Finals after suffering a torn left quadriceps muscle on April 15.

However, having made it back in time to feature against Toronto, the former first-round pick is just happy to contribute to the team in any way possible.

"I told Steve [Kerr] coming into this [series] that whatever he needed off me, I was okay with it. If it was coming off the bench or starting, if it was playing eight minutes or 40, I'm cool with whatever," Cousins said in his post-game press conference.

"I'm going to come in and help the team with whatever is needed and when I step on the floor I'm going to leave it out there.

"This is what I've worked for my entire career, to be on this stage and have this opportunity to play for something.

"I don't take any of this for granted. I've seen how quick this game can be taken away from you, so every chance I get to go out there and play I'm going to leave it on the floor."

Klay Thompson said he will be "fine" after sustaining a hamstring problem in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, according to Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

Thompson left Sunday's series-equalling 109-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors with left hamstring tightness in the fourth quarter and did not return.

The 29-year-old appeared to suffer the injury with a little more than eight minutes to play in the final period after landing awkwardly as he attempted a three-pointer.

Asked about Thompson – who began limping before heading to the locker room in Toronto – Kerr told reporters: "Klay said he'll be fine.

"But Klay could be half dead and he'd say he's fine. We'll see. He pulled his hamstring. Said it's minor."

Thompson recorded 25 points, five rebounds and five assists before the injury. He knocked down four of six three-point attempts as the Warriors levelled the series at 1-1.

Warriors center Kevon Looney also left Game 2 with a chest bruise. Kevin Durant has not played since straining his calf in Game 5 of Golden State's victory against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

Steve Kerr insisted two-time reigning champions the Golden State Warriors remain confident in their bid for a three-peat as they look to overturn a deficit against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors dropped Game 1 to the Raptors 118-109 in Toronto on Thursday, with Game 2 back at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday.

Golden State are no strangers to the biggest stage, with the Warriors contesting their fifth successive Finals, while the Raptors are featuring for the first time in their history.

Asked about Golden State's confidence heading into the second game, Warriors head coach Kerr told reporters: "I think any team that has been through the experiences that we have and that has won championships has to earn that confidence.

"I think players are naturally pretty confident at this level. Star players, like we have, they have all got confidence. But what the real confidence is, is when you've been through everything and you've seen everything – you've won, you've lost, you've experienced every high, every low, then you know what this is about and you can dig into your reserve of experience to remember what's necessary, which is really you just keep going back to the basics.

"It sounds boring, but transition defense, boxing out. Football coaches just say blocking and tackling. It's the same concept, but your ability to do that under pressure, when you're in the Finals or in a big series, whatever, and everybody's asking you a million questions, it's can you focus on blocking and tackling? That's what it comes down to.

"To me, confidence is not just confidence in your shot. It's confidence in your ability to execute all the details that go into winning a game."

Kerr was also quizzed on the NBA's strict no tampering policy after Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined over comments about Raptors star Kawhi Leonard.

Rivers was hit with a $50,000 fine on Friday after he compared reported Clippers target Leonard to NBA great Michael Jordan.

"I got fined when I was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns for making a joke on The Dan Patrick Show," Kerr said on Saturday. "I think he asked me if we were interested in LeBron [James] when LeBron was a free agent back in whatever it was that he went to Miami.

"I said if he's willing to take minimum, we would take him. Dan laughed. And I wrote a $10,000 cheque the next day. So I learned my lesson. I don't comment about any other players."

Leonard has been devastating during the playoffs, though he was rather subdued by his standards in Game 1 following 23 points and eight rebounds.

"I think with great players like Kawhi or LeBron or Kevin Durant or whoever, it's the old cliche: You can't just do the same thing over and over again," Kerr added. "But in this case the cliche is true: You can't give a guy the same look every time. So you just try to mix it up and keep them off balance the best you can.

"I thought we did a decent job overall on Kawhi. He didn't have his best game. But, again, transition and other areas of our defensive game were really lacking and we have to clean up. We're under no illusion that we're going to stop Kawhi. We're just trying to make it as difficult as possible on him."

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has been ruled out of Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

Durant has been out with a calf injury and sat out of Game 1 as the Warriors, the defending champions, lost 118-109 in Toronto on Thursday.

A statement from Golden State last week said it was hoped Durant would return "at some point" during the series.

However, that will not be on Sunday in the second meeting with the Raptors, with coach Steve Kerr revealing Durant is still not back in practice.

"Kevin's not going to play on Sunday," he told reporters on Friday. "I guess we've been holding out hope, but I might as well just say it now.

"He's not practicing today. We'll have a practice tomorrow, but he's still progressing. It's near impossible for him to play on Sunday."

The Warriors at least had DeMarcus Cousins back in Game 1 and he came through unscathed.

Cousins said after the game: "It felt good. It felt good to be a part of the energy tonight.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't take any of these moments for granted. To be out there on the floor tonight in this atmosphere was an incredible feeling.

"I'm extremely happy to be a part of it and I enjoyed the moment."

Kevin Durant still has multiple steps to take before he can return to the court for the Golden State Warriors.

The 30-year-old Warriors star has yet to return to practice as he deals with a calf injury, coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Wednesday.

Durant has already been ruled out for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"His next step is individual court work, so that will be the next priority over the next couple of days," Kerr said.

"Hopefully he can wrap that up, and then he's going to have to practice. We have to see him in practice before he can play a game, and he hasn't practiced yet."

Durant has been out since straining his calf in Golden State's Game 5 win over the Rockets in the second round. The Warriors went on to close out Houston in six games before sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

Durant, who was having a stellar postseason before the injury, travelled with the team for Games 1 and 2 in Toronto.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors is in Toronto on Thursday.

Steve Kerr is unconcerned about Canadian rapper Drake's impact on the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors head coach more worried over how his daughter would view him after his "dad joke" about the Toronto Raptors superfan.

Drake's courtside antics received plenty of publicity during the Eastern Conference Finals as he laughed at Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missing a free throw and pumped up the Toronto crowd during the six-game series.

He was named the Raptors' global ambassador in 2013 and has been vocal about his belief in the team as of late.

Kerr was relaxed about Drake ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, though, even referencing one of his most well-known lyrics from 'Hotline Bling'.

"I'm not worried about Drake. I called him on his cell phone earlier," Kerr told reporters. 

"My daughter's rolling her eyes right now. She's like, 'Dad, no more dad jokes'."

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