Draymond Green signing a contract extension with the Warriors a year before he could hit unrestricted free agency caught plenty of NBA observers off guard.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr was not one of them.
"Yeah, I mean we've talked about it," Kerr said Monday at USA Basketball's men's national team training camp Monday in Las Vegas. "We talked about it before last season, so I've been talking to [general manager Bob Myers] about it and [to] Draymond. I'm thrilled for him."
Green, 29, conceivably could have gotten more money on the open market than the reported $100 million of his new four-year contract. The three-time NBA champion could have commanded up to 30 percent of the salary-cap on a maximum contract, and Green also could have re-signed with the Warriors for an extra year just by waiting to sign on the dotted line next summer.
But Green surprised many and re-upped this summer, effectively ending any concerns about a protracted contract saga looming over the season. Both he and Klay Thompson, who officially signed a five-year contract extension in July, now are under contract through 2024. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry, meanwhile, still has three more seasons remaining on his contract.
When Bay Area News Group's Mark Medina asked if the Warriors were building their team with the Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker-led San Antonio Spurs in mind, Kerr said that approach was a no-brainer.
"Well, I think you have to do that if you have special players who not only are great, talented players, but who are foundational pieces who you can build around," Kerr said. " ... So this summer was painful in many ways, losing the guys that we did, but reassuring in the sense that we brought back some key guys who are gonna help us kind of get to that next era -- whatever it looks like."
With San Francisco's Chase Center opening this fall and only five returning players under contract, whether or not the Warriors can re-tool on the fly will almost immediately be tested next season. Thompson is set to miss much of the season after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, leaving Green and Curry to shoulder an even larger share of the load for Golden State's rebuilt roster in his absence.