The Golden State Warriors had already drafted Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson prior to Bob Myers becoming the general manager of the team in 2012. But as soon as Myers took control of the front office, the Warriors became a dynasty.
The former NBA agent controlled the 2012 NBA Draft for the Warriors, a night that resulted in them drafting Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli. All three of them would wind up being key players during the team’s 2014-15 championship run. From there, Myers continued to be aggressive as he built around the team’s core of Curry, Thompson and Green.
Bringing Kevin Durant to Golden State in 2016 alongside veterans like David West, Zaza Pachulia, and JaVale McGee, the Warriors rattled off two more titles in 2017 and 2018. Durant's departure and injuries resulted in a two-year lull, but then the Warriors roared back to win another title in 2022.
Through thick and thin, Myers has been the architect behind the scenes for the Warriors all of these years, which featured historic success. Losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals this season marked the first time that Golden State had lost a playoff series to a Western Conference team since 2014, the year before they started their title quest. Failure is not the right word to describe the Warriors this season, as it is always harder to win back-to-back titles than just one, but this rare early exit from the postseason will result in changes being made.
Of these changes, the possibility of Myers leaving could immediately initiate the start of a decline for this dominant dynasty in the Bay Area.
Bob Myers' contract status with Warriors
Wrapping up his 12th season as the leader of the Warriors' basketball operations, Myers’ current contract with the organization is set to expire in July. Given his extremely strong relationships with head coach Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and other talents on the roster, as well as celebrating more achievements than any other league executive has had through the years, why would Myers want to leave?
When you reach the pinnacle of success in any profession, the question of “what’s next” always seems to loom large. This is the case right now with Myers, as he truly sits on the fence about what the future holds for him. Ahead of their season-ending defeat to the Lakers, Myers talked about his contract status on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and laid out his thought process.
“What I would tell them [the fans], and they won't like the answer, is it's not a focus on me, it's a focus on the team to keep this thing going,” Myers said. “There will be a time when the season is over to think about that, to process that and see how it unfolds and how I feel. The fans and the media, they're allowed to kind of look ahead while the series is going on. There will be a time for those answers… Somebody smarter a long time ago gave me advice: Don't make a decision until you have to.”
This has been Myers’ approach all season long, as the team did look to give him a new deal several times in the middle of the 2022-23 season. Back in January, majority owner Joe Lacob told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami that the team had made two offers to extend Myers, citing that he “fully expects” the leader of the team’s front office to be back. It is very possible that things will be sorted out this offseason, especially since the Warriors’ season is over now, but other opportunities will present themselves to Myers in the offseason.
Where Bob Myers could land this offseason
There is not a single person associated with this team that wants to see Myers leave this summer. Many general managers and heads of basketball operations are close with their staff, but Myers’ unique connections have positively aided his team’s ability to contend for a title virtually every season. However, league sources told ClutchPoints that the Los Angeles Clippers and their multi-billion dollar owner Steve Ballmer have discussed scenarios in regards to making a run at Myers this offseason.
The Clippers have had high title aspirations through the years after bringing in All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George ahead of the start of the 2019-20 season. While injuries have consistently derailed these championship dreams, Los Angeles believes it can truly get to the NBA Finals with a healthy roster.
Having a mind like Myers lead the front office would increase the Clippers’ overall chances of winning a title, and going from San Francisco to Los Angeles may make a lot of sense for him. A national champion at UCLA, Myers would cement his spot as one of the greatest executives in NBA history by creating the Clippers’ first championship team, finally putting them in the spotlight over their rivals in the Lakers who have run the city since before the Clippers came to town in 1984. Ballmer has never been afraid to spend the money he sees fit in order to contend for a title, and giving the Warriors executive the exact deal he wants could just be enough to pry him away.
The Clippers are viewed as the most attractive destination around the league for Myers to potentially go in the offseason, but the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns are two other organizations that will be undergoing changes to their front office in the offseason. The Wizards parted ways with president and general manager Tommy Sheppard this offseason, while the Suns have already parted ways with some front-office personnel, as well as head coach Monty Williams. New owner Mat Ishbia will be aggressive with getting his team in a position to potentially win a title immediately, which is why he could be willing to pay any amount it would take to bring in Myers. However, Ishbia is said to be “running and overseeing basketball operations” for the Suns right now according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which may make Phoenix a less attractive spot for Myers if the Suns were to show interest.
As far as other teams looking to make a significant change and upgrade in their front office this offseason, sources say the Brooklyn Nets could look to pursue Myers. Nets general manager Sean Marks did a great job at the trade deadline for the Nets in terms of trading superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant given the circumstances he was dealing with. Having a plethora of draft picks through the years and a young, growing star in Mikal Bridges, Myers could instantly join this organization and help rebuild it into a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference quickly alongside Marks.
Taking a step back from the NBA and spending quality time with his family is also another avenue for Myers to explore. As NBA insider Marc Stein reports, departing the Warriors in the offseason and taking the 2023-24 season off to “recharge” is also a viable scenario for the two-time Executive of the Year.
Warriors' future hangs in balance
Then again, Myers is in the perfect situation with the Warriors, as he has created everything around him. From those that surround him in the front office to the players, coaches and staff he is fortunate to call friends every day with Golden State, Myers’ DNA runs deep within the walls of this organization. While this season ended in disappointment, the Warriors are still in championship mode and could get back to the NBA Finals over the course of the next few seasons, especially with Curry still playing at such a high level at 35 years old.
Ultimately, a decision from Myers will need to come relatively soon. It would not come as a shock if he makes his intentions known before the end of May. The future of the Warriors will be greatly impacted by this decision. Should Myers inform them that he is going to pursue other positions and ventures elsewhere, the Warriors will very quickly need to not only come up with their plans for the 2023 NBA Draft, but their plans for what to do in regards to their roster. The Warriors’ payroll already exceeds $200 million for next season, and contract negotiations surrounding Klay Thompson and Draymond Green suddenly become a lot different if Myers is no longer around.
Former first-round picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody will also be entering their third seasons in the league, and the Warriors do not have too much time to make a decision on their long-term futures. Gary Payton II is set to make $8.7 million next season, so the team will have to make a decision on if they can afford to keep him around again. Jordan Poole will be a much-discussed topic for this organization in the offseason as well with his contract extension set to kick in. Following his lackluster play in the postseason, Poole’s future with the Warriors is uncertain. Without Myers’ leadership and guidance, figuring out what to do with the young guard becomes extremely difficult.
In order for things to continue as they have been for the Warriors through the years, they are going to need Myers back. At this point, though, the possibility of Myers leaving this offseason is very real, as he truly sits 50-50 about what he wants to do moving forward. No matter who is in charge of the front office, the Warriors will continue to be the Warriors and their stars will continue to headline their championship efforts. Whether or not they can actually win another championship relies heavily on Myers’ decision, a decision that could drastically change the landscape of the entire league moving forward.