Myers' comments were the first that he's made publicly since Golden State got Russell in a sign-and-trade. Myers conceded that the Warriors haven't decided if Russell fits into their long-term plans or not, but he also said that speculation that they got him just to trade him is premature.
"I know it's been written and speculated. That's fine," Myers said, according to ESPN. "That's what everybody's job is to do. We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him. We haven't even seen him play in our uniform yet. And a lot of people have us already trading him. That's not how we're viewing it. Let's just see what we have. Let's see what he is. Let's see how he fits. Part of our job in the front office and the coaching staff and the organization is how does it all work? ... so much of our sport at least and maybe other sports is 'What are you doing next?' We got to figure out what we're doing now.
"We're just happy that we've got a young player that has a lot of upside, in our opinion, and we're excited at the possibility of him in our uniform."
The 23-year-old Russell had come to an agreement on a max extension (with $117 million to be paid out over four years) after Durant opted to go to the Nets during the first night of free agency. Russell's jump to Golden State represented the Warriors acquiring something in return for their fleeing star. On Monday, Myers expressed optimism that Russell can give the team a boost as they wait for Klay Thompson to get back on the court following the tearing of his ACL in the Finals' final game. He also noted that the core still includes Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
"The West keeps getting better and better," said Myers. "Can we compete? Yeah, I think that's shown -- at least at its core, whenever Klay comes back with Draymond and Steph -- that's a group that's shown and proved that they can win. As far as the other pieces, we have to see."
Golden State's decision to snag Russell came shortly after Myers learned Kevin Durant was indeed going to Brooklyn. He said that he spoke to KD for an "hour or two," about topics that ranged outside of basketball, as free agency was set to begin. Myers added that Golden State did what they could to get Durant back, though he had his mind made up that he wanted a change.
"He just felt like it was something inside of him, in his heart, that he wanted to try something different," Myers said of Durant. "Nothing wrong with that. I have a peace about it personally. I hope our fans can too. Just in the annals of Bay Area sports, he's one of the best athletes we've ever seen come through our city and certainly this organization."
According to ESPN, Durant wasn't the only veteran whose departure from the Bay Area bummed out Myers. They add that it was also difficult for the team to clear cap space by trading Andre Iguodala to Memphis.
"It's very difficult," Myers said of the pair. "Those are people I like. Those are people I still like. Those memories, those relationships, don't change. Just 'cause they're going to go work for a different company or different team, what we shared, whether it's myself or their teammates or anybody in the organization, that doesn't go away. So that hurts, I mean, those things hurt. If they don't hurt, then I guess you never had a relationship with those guys in the first place. That's the hard part of the business, but I'm sure I'm going to see those guys again. Looking forward to it in whatever capacity they're in, whatever teams they're on. And I wish them well. Those guys were tremendous -- both of them."
Myers rounded out his media session by saying that there's still no timetable for Klay Thompson's return. He also said that there's still optimism within the organization despite losing some big names.
"It's a new dawn for us," he said. "But it's OK. We haven't been in this position for five years, but it's going to be fun. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy because when you have young players, there's a learning curve to their growth, to their NBA experience."
If you want, you can check out his full comments below: