At this time last year, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers was in an ideal position: His team had just won an NBA Championship, and while his counterparts scrambled to find talent, he remained content with his squad.
This year, after becoming the first team to lose in the Finals with a 3-1 series lead, the vibe is almost the complete opposite.
“We’re always going to try and be better, but sometimes — like last summer — we had won a championship and I didn’t do anything really,” Myers said on Tuesday at the team’s practice facility. “We brought back the same team. … The team actually, in some ways, was better. Didn’t win a championship so maybe we weren’t. But as far as making the right decisions in the offseason, we made sound decisions without being what some people would call aggressive. They probably would have called it passive. It doesn’t mean you’re not looking aggressively.”
The search for talent will undoubtedly have tangible results on the Dubs roster. As it stands, eight players will be free agents this summer.
It brings up an interesting philosophical dilemma: Do the Warriors return many of the players who got them here — Leandro Barbosa seems like a no-brainer re-signing — or do they aim to make a big splash in free agency by bringing in Kevin Durant? Or Al Horford? Or either of those guys and Dirk Nowitzki, who opted out of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday?
Myers said he won’t punish Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes (both restricted free agents) for poor showings late in the playoffs, but it’s hard to imagine either of them will be worth the cost after other teams agree to give them respective pay raises. They were valuable this season because they were on rookie deals. Next season, they’ll be on big-boy contracts with matching expectations.
Myers assured reporters that owner Joe Lacob “is aggressive when he wakes up in the morning, he’s aggressive when he goes to bed,” so it’s safe to assume the team will make some kind of splash this offseason — for better or worse.
What a difference a year makes.