How Clippers GM's reported departure could impact Dubs' Myers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
One NBA team with championship aspirations appears to need a new general manager.
Los Angeles Clippers general manager Michael Winger will be leading the Washington Wizards after agreeing to become the president of Monumental Basketball, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday, citing sources. The move, from the outside, has the chance of shaking up more than one Western Conference contender.
Bob Myers' contract as Warriors president and general manager ends June 30, and he has yet to agree to contract offers presented by owner Joe Lacob. Myers has held the GM title for the past 11 seasons, following only one season as assistant GM. But his time could be coming to a close, with the final decision being his own.
And the Clippers might pose the biggest threat if he decides to continue his GM responsibilities with a new team.
The sense has been that if Myers does opt to move on it won't be to take the reins for another franchise next season. More so, his decision would be focused on spending time with his wife and three daughters, and take at least a year off while focusing on different endeavors. He already started one when he released his first podcast with ESPN and Omaha Productions, "Lead By Example With Bob Myers."
The first episode came out in the middle of January when the Warriors still had 38 regular-season games left, and the most recent dropped the day of their 11-point win against the Oklahoma City Thunder -- the third-to-last game in the regular season.
Myers is a Bay Area native who grew up in Danville, excelled at Monte Vista High School and loves still living in the area. He also played four seasons at UCLA where he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the Bruins' 1995 national title, despite being at the very back of the bench that season. Myers' role grew at UCLA, he earned his law degree in LA and his prominence continued growing in Southern California as an agent.
The Clippers are moving to owner Steve Ballmer's giant project, the Intuit Dome in Inglewood in 2024, and Ballmer, an owner who badly wants to win inside his shiny toy, isn't afraid to make splashy moves. Or open his check book.
Jerry West still holds a strong voice in the Clippers' front office, and Myers never wanted West to leave the Warriors when he was an executive board member. Myers has even admitted he has turned to West in recent years on advice, even with West working for a rival.
The Warriors and Myers even have a long history playing against Clippers head coach Ty Lue. This past season was his third as the Clippers' head coach, and he held the job in Cleveland for three of the four seasons the Warriors met the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Lue was the head coach when the Warriors blew a three-games-to-one lead in the Finals, giving the Cavs their first title in franchise history.
There's no underselling how close Myers is to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, as well as the Big Three of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. All four have publicly voiced their hope for Myers to return to the Warriors. Green recently did on his podcast, "The Draymond Green Show," following The Athletic's Shams Charania reporting the Warriors are bracing for a separation with Myers.
Green, who holds a player option worth over $27 million for next season, wrote on Instagram, "That sucks," and then said on his podcast, "To know that he may not be here, that sucks, that hurts, because I've appreciated going to work with him every day for the last 11 years. And the things that he's taught me.
"I think in life we all need people who hold us accountable, and he holds me accountable at a totally different standard. He don't hold me accountable like, 'Oh, I'm the general manager of the team.' He holds me accountable as a man. He holds me accountable as a leader. He holds me accountable from a friendship standpoint.
"So that sucks, and quite frankly, I hope Bob is back next year. I also hope I'm back next year."
Curry is the only one of the four whose future as a Warrior is a 100 percent sure thing. Green has his player option, Thompson has one year left on his contract before he would become an unrestricted free agent next offseason and Kerr's contract only runs through next season as well.
Myers is expected to speak to Bay Area reporters early next week. The 48-year-old still serves as the Warriors' GM right now and recently was in Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine. What's next a little more than a month from now remains a mystery in San Francisco, and one intriguing door has now opened down in the southern part of the state.