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December 1, 2020

Bob Myers

San Francisco, California, USA

Media Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. We just had Coach Kerr, now we'll have Bob for a season preview, training camp preview.

I think, Bob, you have a couple housecleaning items at the beginning. Go ahead, Bob.

BOB MYERS: Sure. Thank you. Hope everybody is doing safe and well in these times.

First I want to congratulate Andrew Bogut for his time with us. Thrilled for him on a tremendous career. Obviously part of a championship team for us. Helped us get back to kind of a place of prominence that we hadn't been in a long time. He was one of the initial moves when I was assistant GM. Never forget that transaction, what he meant to our team and fans. Just thrilled for him. An amazing career internationally and also in the NBA, as well. Happy for him.

Second point, I don't know if Steve got to it or not, but as players have entered back into our market, two players have tested positive after they reentered. I don't think this is unexpected with all the people coming back in. It kind of proves that the protocols and testing is working, that was the whole point, to catch these things before we begin.

We've been delayed one day. We're going to start individual workouts tomorrow. The official kind of camp where they're going to be practicing and everything together will start on Monday.

Obviously I can't disclose the players per the CBA and HIPAA rules. I wanted to get out in front of that so everybody on the call knows we're officially starting the 1-0 stuff tomorrow, and Monday we begin with the increased activity. That's all per NBA protocols, which I'm learning a lot about.

Happy to answer any questions about anything beyond that.

Q. Can you take us through the conversation prior to the Oubre trade, the approval for that, the process on that move.

BOB MYERS: There was a lot coming at us that day as we've well documented. You can't script some of this happening the day of the draft, finding out that arguably one of your best players, actually one of your best players, one of our key figures, learning that he tore his Achilles basically that day. Then having to at that moment process that.

There's an emotional component to that and there is also kind of a tactical part of it that you have to quickly shift to even though you'd like to kind of be a human being for a minute and feel for someone.

That was the day of the draft. We had to quickly realign, begin to have conversations about that specific exception and what we were going to do with it, whether we were going to use it, who we could use it on, how motivated we would be.

To your question, it probably made us more aggressive in our pursuit of filling that, knowing we had a hole in the two position, at the wing position. Free agency was about to start. We had to get in front of it. Only armed with the taxpayer mid-level and free agency, that's not a great weapon to go into free agency with in a very competitive market and try to find a player let alone trying to replace a player of Klay's caliber.

Q. Even before Klay's injury, was the plan always to address depth at the wing position regardless? Was that a priority for you guys?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I just thought we needed to do it with Klay healthy. Him getting that hurt made it more of a priority. There's only so much you can do. Again, I don't know what Klay's salary is exactly, some $30 million, that's a space you can't fill. We did get the disabled player exception, that didn't land until Monday, most of free agency seemed to be done by then.

We did the best we could with the circumstances that we found ourselves in. We tried to add more wing depth adding Brazemore, Oubre we thought could play multiple guard positions. We obviously have hopes for Poole's development, Damion Lee, guys like that.

Look, we absolutely anticipated a season with Klay starting in position two. When it changed, it actually diminished, we had to add depth, we did the best we could to add depth in what we needed, which is wing depth.

Q. Are any of the players who tested positive symptomatic?

BOB MYERS: I'm not getting into it too much. I don't read that as a yes. We're all learning how to move through this. What I've been told is that is private and personal information. I'm sure you are very good at your job, you'll find that answer I suppose. Not fair for me to say, just like I wouldn't with my family or yours.

Q. In regards to Andrew Wiggins, I'm sure when you acquired him, you envisioned him playing alongside Steph and Klay. With Klay out of the equation, how does that change his role in the offense and on the defensive end?

BOB MYERS: We haven't really gotten to see him as much as we'd like with any of our players, whether that would be Klay, we never sadly got to see that last year, are not going to get to see it this year. That's unfortunate for our team and both those guys. I'm sure they wanted to play together and hopefully one day they will.

We'll see what Andrew can do. He'll probably get more opportunity offensively than he would have. That's not probably something we wanted or he wanted. We would love to share the ball with Klay Thompson. He hasn't played with Steph, Klay or Draymond much for that matter.

We'll see. We'll see what he does. We'll see what Oubre does. We'll see what all of our guys do. I think this is a great year to evaluate where we are coming off of last year, kind of a fragmented season with a lot of injury. We'd like to see our team, that's the bottom line. I'd love to see the team play, be able to evaluate them appropriately with health.

My biggest wish now, the hardest thing about the injury is unfortunately my job and our job in the front office is to evaluate our personnel. It's tough to do that with kind of one of the major cogs not there. You still have to do it, so you still have to evaluate the team to see how they mesh, see how the work collectively, individually, offensively, defensively. Obviously Wiggins is one of those guys.

Q. With what happened to the 49ers having to move to Arizona, is that a cautionary tale for you guys? Do you have plans in case you have to move? If so, where would you go?

BOB MYERS: All fair questions. All hypothetical questions. All questions we will deal with if we are forced to.

At this point in time, clearly the Santa Clara County decision made us think about those things. Have not heard from the city of San Francisco that they're going to implement anything like that at this time. Have not heard that we're going to be put in that type of position.

Again, this is a very fluid world right now. Sports are a part of it, just like our lives are all a part of it. If we need to make adjustments at some point, we will. Just like they're doing. At this point in time, we're not being told anything like that.

Q. Are you confident training camp is only going to be delayed one day because of the two positive tests or is there a chance it could be delayed more days?

BOB MYERS: At this point in conjunction with the NBA we've been told we're starting tomorrow. Again, this COVID thing, my medical degree is burgeoning at this point, but I haven't graduated (smiling).

Honestly I'm not here to deflect either. No knock, I think there's 134 pages of rules from the NBA. Some of these decisions of when to start, when to stop, how to isolate are beyond my pay grade. We wait to hear them, then we react or act. We do ill all in concert with the league, our team doctors. Obviously I'm made aware of those things.

At this point in time all I do know is we're set to start tomorrow in the individual manner that I discussed, then Monday ramp it up. Beyond that I can't promise, none of you can, anything. Right now that's what I know, today at whatever time it is.

Q. There was a report out there that you guys actually inquired about the availability of James Harden. Did that have any legs or something that teams ask about when a guy is out there?

BOB MYERS: No, I'm not going to comment on everything that's written about us, true or untrue. I'm just not going to do that. I appreciate you have to ask, but if every call we made or didn't make, I had to comment... I don't think it's productive on my side.

I understand why you ask these questions. Very fair to ask.

Q. Do you anticipate going into the season with 14 guys on the 15-man roster? Obviously not including the two two-way contract guys.

BOB MYERS: At this point we're going to find out hopefully in the next couple weeks what the answer to that question is. I think armed with kind of our taxpayer mid-level, the disabled player exception, there's a chance we leave that spot available to see what happens as the season progresses. Obviously injuries, we've already been hit with one. That could change this answer. Somebody performing in camp, somebody getting waved that we really like.

At this point in time today, obviously we have 14. I'll answer that question better in the next week or so as we move forward. There's a scenario we add somebody, there's a scenario we don't, and be patient and wait till later in the season.

Q. I am from Italy. Nico Mannion, what made you draft him and what does he need to do to be part of your rotation?

BOB MYERS: Welcome from Italy. We appreciate the Italian audience.

We needed the position, for one. He was somebody that we were aware of, was a high-profile college player. Sometimes those guys' seasons maybe don't go the way they want them to. We were surprised he was there when we picked. We like his acumen, his ability to manage the game, his talent and upside.

The fact that he's Italian, maybe that made us like him one percent more or a few percent more. But it was based on his game. We drafted him because we think he can play, that he may help us at that point guard spot. We're excited to watch him in camp, see what he can do.

My brief intersection with him in press when we introduced him is he's a little bit motivated. I think he feels like he deserved better in the draft. I think he's excited to show people that he can play in this league.

Q. You haven't played in about nine months. There's other teams in the league like the Lakers or the Heat that have played. Do you think it helps you that you have had such a long layoff, such a long off-season?

BOB MYERS: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. I'm not sure if it's helpful or hurtful. I can make both arguments.

I would say for some of our guys it's been too long. Obviously, especially the rookies, they haven't played, Wiseman hasn't played in a year. No summer league. That hurts some of the young guys. Some vets, maybe some of the guys that have played five years in the Finals, like Draymond and Steph. For the other guys, Looney was hurt most of year.

I think our guys want to play. You'd like to not have as much time off as possible. We've had quite a bit.

Q. Following up on uncertainty of all the COVID stuff. Have you talked to any NFL or MLB GMs or executives in preparation for how you guys are going to handle all the uncertainty that will come this year?

BOB MYERS: Well, yeah, it's not so much the specifics of your question as much as it is the generalities. I know Steve is close to Dave Roberts. I'm not sure they talked. Peter Guber went through it as an executive at the Dodgers. I've talked to the Sharks GM Doug Wilson about how they might prepare once they get going. John Lynch. More in an over-arcing way. How do you move through this? What is your advice? Not so much specific ISO thermal PCR antigen tests twice a day, once a day. Not that stuff. But how do you navigate all the uncertainty.

Look, none of what I say or do makes it any more important than what anybody else's jobs are. As a matter of fact, there are a lot more important jobs than what we're doing. But we want to be safe. We want to do it the best we can.

To lean on anybody that's going through it is really important to make sure we're doing it right, make sure we're not missing anything.

The truth is nobody has answers to these questions. I think the key really is the testing. If I had to say something I've learned is appropriate, accurate testing as often as possible.

Other than that, being smart and really kind of understanding there's going to be bumps in the road, and understanding that is not going to be smooth and seamless, not today, not tomorrow, not in a week, not in a month. Maybe in a while.

Just like our lives, maybe you're going to a restaurant tomorrow, not the next night. One day kids are going to school, not the next. We're not more important than any of that stuff.

The parallel is we're all trying to move through this the best we can. To talk to other people in sports that are moving through it can be helpful and makes sense. I know the league executives talk to other league executives. I'm sure that factors into a lot of the decision making.

Q. You're all clear with the county and city to practice and play games? The reason I ask, San Francisco moved into the purple tier over the weekend, which is more restrictive. Sounds like you're clear at this point?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, if we weren't... Unless something happened during this call (laughter). We were clear when I got on the call. I think we are clear. We are set to kind of go. Again, following the county and the city and the NBA, the NBA players union, all these entities combined, we're being afforded the opportunity to begin now tomorrow and continue to move in that direction.

Q. Without revealing any of the names, did you say everyone was tested and there were two positives or there were two positives from those who were tested for those who showed up in the individual workouts?

BOB MYERS: As I understand it, everybody has been tested and we had two positive cases. It wasn't guys were trickling in and we needed to test 10 more. The whole roster was tested, including camp players. We received two positive tests. I think that's accurate.

THE MODERATOR: That's accurate, correct, yes.

Q. You spend a lifetime trying to mitigate risk in one way or another, all the things executives do. There's almost nothing you can do to mitigate the risk now. You can test the people you can test, tell people to wear masks. This thing is out of control in the entire country. What is it like to be in that position where we are really at the fate of this thing that nobody has any control over right now?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, we all are, 100%. Let's not pretend anything else. I think to pretend that we're in control, no. We're mitigating risks, that's what we're all doing, doing it to the highest level possible. That's what we're all doing individually, what the NBA is doing.

Obviously the NBA did a wonderful job in Orlando to basically eradicate risk. You were there. I went down and visited it. But at the highest level. But is that fair to the thousands of people and players, everybody that spent three months away? I don't know, right?

This is why you have great leadership with Adam Silver, Michele Roberts on the players' side. You have high, high level doctors and scientists doing their best.

If you're talking about what a regular season looks like, worrying about somebody spraining their ankle, losing a pre-season game, free agent doesn't look good, add a huge layer to that on a basic, basic level of just trying to keep people healthy in a pandemic is the bottom line.

Yeah, if they had a GM handbook and you looked in the appendix, there's not going to be 'what to do in a pandemic'. There may be now (laughter). When I took the job. It is not I called Pat Riley, Ainge, what is your advice if a pandemic comes? Here is what you do.

You've been doing this longer than I have. I don't know if you've seen anything like it. I certainly haven't. I do think everybody is trying to do their best. That's what I'll say. You can like that or not. Everybody has a different opinion. I believe everybody is trying to do their best with a difficult situation.

Q. You touched on getting the player exception granted, but obviously late in the game to add a player before the season starts. How interested is the organization potentially adding someone before the trade deadline? How closely will you be evaluating your talent, what the team needs with the potential of using that money?

BOB MYERS: I think it's a great tool to have. We want to be smart about it. Sometimes you see that being utilized later in the buyout market when you have to beat out a team that's offering a little bit more money. A lot of good individual players that haven't played together, haven't played together for one second some of these guys. We'll spend camp and the pre-season evaluating where we might have holes, where we might get better, what players are available.

The good thing about Joe, I referenced this when we did the press conference for the rookies, you guys and gals all see him do it, so if it helps us win, I think he'll move in that direction. If it's just a lateral move, I would actually tell him not to do it if it doesn't make sense. Don't waste money if it's not going to help us. We'll keep our eye on it and see if it makes sense.

Q. How I don't want to say stressful but unsettling is it to know that your team, this season, is going to be predicated largely on how they handle and navigate COVID as much as anything they may do on the court?

BOB MYERS: I think we're all kind of subject to that. From the league standpoint, from a team standpoint, from an individual player, coach, executive standpoint, you and everybody doing your jobs, how do you do it safely. This stuff is tough.

Again, I don't want to hear that and you write... There's a lot of people that are doing a lot harder things, people that are sick, people on the front lines. So much harder than what we're doing.

If you're asking in a context of what a regular year looks like for our team, any professional team, it's completely different. Just like you, your jobs are completely different.

I think, again, what I'll fall back on, what is everybody doing? It's your best. I don't know. I guess it's not as enjoyable. It's harder. We're people, too. We're trying to do the right things. We're trying to follow advice of doctors. We're trying to follow all the protocols that are put in front of us, make the best decisions we can.

It's not going to be we lost a regular season or pre-season game at the buzzer. That's not the most important thing right now. It's important to me personally because that's my job. As far as in the grand scheme of things, there's a whole 'nother layer to how we move through life and this season that is new. You have a different idea of it than I do. It doesn't mean I'm right or wrong. Everybody on the call has a different thought on this. Not to say we're right or you're right.

One of the things I like about sports, the only reason I got into sports, you either win or lose, go home. It's clear, no gray. You lost, you got to get better. You win, good for you. You do that a lot. Oftentimes you do it a hundred times a year.

This year there's this grayness to it that you're still going to win and lose, but encompassed in all that is something bigger. All I can do and we can do is our best with the advice of everybody around us. Again, got some great leaders in all these positions to help guide us and move forward in the best way possible.

Q. We can't specify who got it, but what are the next 10 days like? What is the process of bringing a player back? They have to do two negative tests over a 24-hour period.

BOB MYERS: There's protocols in conjunction with the league, obviously the CDC guidelines, the players union. We'll follow those. There's a quarantine and isolation period. There's a ramp-up period to when these players can get back. I think it's a little longer than what you're seeing in other sports because it's their initial entry into the team. Some of these players haven't had testing every single day.

As I understand it, we'll do what we're told to do on it, do the safest thing possible to avoid any other cases. Again, to that exact point, I may defer to Raymond on exactly when these guys will be back. It will be a period of time until they receive enough negative tests to make it safe for them to reenter into our facility and reacclimate with our team.

I think you'll get that answer. I'm not trying to not give you that answer. To be honest, I'm dealing with all this stuff in real-time, too. I don't know if it's a week or seven or eight, nine days. I don't know exactly what the number is based on the day you actually tested positive.


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