This has not been the season anyone was expecting in the Bay Area, but even with his team two games under .500 and stuck in 11th place ahead of the trade deadline, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said they have a “special” group and don’t need to make a move.
During his pre-game media session before the Warriors’ 127-104 win over the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers, Kerr addressed the trade rumors.
“If we don’t do anything tomorrow, I feel like we’ve got a good group that we can push through with,” Kerr said.
“The guys who are here, they are an incredibly accomplished group. We’ve got some exciting young players, and we’ve got a good group. Every guy on our team has really overcome a lot, individually, this year. Taken out of the starting lineup, to injuries, young players have emerged through hard work and patience, and I enjoy coaching this team. It is a long haul, but I feel like this team could be something special.”
Injuries, Draymond Green’s long-term suspension and sub-par play from the likes of Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins have all been a factor in the Warriors’ disappointing first half of the season. The core of their dynasty remains intact, though, while Kerr and Co. are clinging to that lifeline.
You see Steph Curry, you see Draymond (Green), go home and check our playoff record of our trio,” Thompson, who finished with 18 points in Wednesday’s win, said. “We are champions. I believe (in us). I will always believe we can always make a run, especially when we are all suited up.”
This group is less than two years removed from their last title, and after all they’ve accomplished together, it’s no surprise that they’re keeping the faith. Even if they do have internal doubts, what else are they going to say publicly? Kerr, in particular, has to show his players support in the event no trades happen.
It’s clear that the front office is thinking differently, however. If the stream of rumors doesn’t make that clear, their own quotes from earlier in the season certainly do. Here’s general manager Mike Dunleavy in December after Green hit Jusuf Nurkic in the face.
“We need a little more evaluation of this team: the chemistry, the lineups and all that,”. “I think we’re right there, but at some point, our record is going to have to change. We’re going to have to creep past .500 and start winning some games. And if not, we’ll have to re-evaluate.”
The Warriors remain under .500, so it’s a good bet changes will be coming by the deadline, whether Kerr and the players want them or not.