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Steve Kerr Says Warriors Not Looking at 2018-19 Season as 'Last Dance'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  (L-R) Kevin Durant #35, Draymond Green #23, Stephen Curry #30, Klay Thompson #11, and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors pose for a group picture during the Golden State Warriors media day on September 24, 2018 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is cautiously optimistic the team's core will remain in place beyond the 2018-19 season.

"Last dance?" Kerr said Tuesday, according to ESPN.com's Nick Friedell. "I hope not. I hope we keep dancing."

Kerr added he doesn't view this year's Warriors—who are pursuing a third straight titlelike the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls because of the uncertain future his former club was facing after they ripped off a three-peat.

"I think the difference is with Phil [Jackson] in '98 we all were free agents and we all knew we were all going to be gone, including Phil," he added. "But we're not in that same position. We do have plenty of free agents, but we're not looking at this as the final dance. Like I said, we want to have some fun and enjoy what we have this year and move on from there."

The most pressing question for the Warriors at this rate is if Kevin Durant will still be with the team at this time next season.

The two-time Finals MVP re-signed with the Warriors on a one-plus-one agreement this summer—a deal that will allow him to test free agency again in 2019 if he declines his $31.5 million player option for the 2019-20 campaign.

"It was one of those things where you're just confident in your skills, and you kind of just want to take it year by year," Durant said, according to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. "And I think to keep my options open, it was the best thing for me.

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"I could have easily signed a long-term deal...but I just wanted to take it a season by season and see where it takes me. And I think this whole year is going to be a fun, exciting year for us all, and I'm looking forward to just focusing on that, and we'll see what happens after the year."

Klay Thompson is also scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. However, the sharpshooter has reaffirmed his commitment to the franchise time and again when asked about his future in the Bay Area.

"When guys go into free agency, they're searching for a situation like mine or similar to our team," Thompson said Monday, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. "I'm perfectly content here."

Thompson added what the Warriors have established over the past half-decade "keeps me wanting to be a Warrior for my whole career."

The other lingering issue revolves around power forward Draymond Green, who is extension-eligible before he hits free agency in 2020. The good news for the Warriors is that, like Thompson, Green isn't intent on exploring his options.

"I'm confident I'll be here a very long time," he said Monday, per the Mercury News' Mark Medina.

The Warriors, who have won three of the last four NBA titles, are -195 favorites (bet $195 to win $100) to take home the 2018-19 championship, according to OddsShark.

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