OAKLAND (AP) — A busy and productive offseason behind him, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers can finally look at his reconstructed roster and say without hesitation, "I don't think we're bad on paper. We're good on paper."
How durable that paper will be is still to be determined.
For all the success Myers has seemingly had in the five months since the former sports agent was promoted from assistant general manager, Golden State's season still rests largely on the surgically repaired ankles of center Andrew Bogut and point guard Stephen Curry. It's a scary, however promising, prospect Myers admits he thinks about often.
With training camp beginning next week, Myers has tried to remind himself there is only so much he can do. He keeps inspirational quotes on his phone, and anytime his mind begins to wander, he thinks back to one by writer Ralph Waldo Emerson that goes: "Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it."
"Basically meaning, let's do what we can do today to make sure everybody's healthy and every day and let that fall where it may," Myers said. "And I think if you want to look back at the history of guys, when they're healthy, they're very good."
Myers will not make any playoff promises — as coach Mark Jackson did a year ago — and is instead taking the opposite approach: a stark look at reality.
Growing up in nearby Danville, Myers has watched enough of his predecessors offer false hope — and fail to deliver — to make any unnecessary assumptions.
But he's pleased enough with Bogut's acquisition from Milwaukee last year for guard Monta Ellis, power forward David Lee's leadership, the additions of guard Jarrett Jack and forward Carl Landry and re-signing Brandon Rush to believe that a franchise that finished 23-43 last season and has made the playoffs once in the last 18 years has a chance to start a positive streak.
Asking anymore at this time, he admits, is not being realistic.
"To be totally honest and candid, we're not being discussed as winning an NBA championship this year," Myers said. "You at least want to be in that conversation. That's a goal. We're not there. Nobody's saying we have a chance to win a title. That's the next step for this organization is to have that conversation. It's incremental. I know we have a long way to go. But that's ultimately where we want to be, and we're not there right now. We don't deserve to be there. But we feel like we're heading in the right direction."
Of the many decisions facing Myers in the months ahead, none is bigger than Curry's contract situation.
Curry, who was medically cleared to resume all basketball-related activities last week following his latest rehabilitation from surgery, is eligible for an extension with the team until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 30 — the night before the season opener at Phoenix — or the point guard will become a free agent next summer.
Myers reiterated that the Warriors expect to reach a deal with Curry, but don't expect anything firm until after the final preseason game Oct. 23 — and perhaps not until deadline day. Myers already has told Curry that "it's your team," while still making it clear Golden State wouldn't be doing its due diligence if it didn't "get as much information as we can before we make that decision."
The other pressing issue is the status of beleaguered center Andris Biedrins, who is owed $9 million this season and has a $9 million player option for 2013-14. On Wednesday, Jackson sounded displeased when he said Biedrins has been the only player not at the team facility since Labor Day working out voluntarily.
Myers took a more diplomatic approach, saying he hopes Biedrins shows up in shape and ready to bounce back after three terrible seasons. After all, Myers doesn't spend much time worrying about things he can't control.
Even with all moves Myers and the front office have made this offseason, he'll be the first to admit most of the major questions surrounding the team can't be answered now.
"Ask me at the end of the season," Myers said, "and I'll tell you what kind of offseason we had."