Warriors happy to have core back, build on success after offseason dominated by trade talk

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OAKLAND, California — David Lee learned to block out trade talk during his days with the New York Knicks when just about everybody on the roster was rumored to be on the move at some point.

With the Golden State Warriors involved in discussions to acquire Kevin Love from Minnesota this offseason, Lee said he never wasted time wondering about his future after he heard the news. Instead, he worked on his rehabilitation and remained as secluded as he could in the Los Angeles area.

"There's really no reason to read anything more into it. It's either going to happen or it's not," Lee said Monday, addressing the topic for the first time publicly during the Warriors' media day. "If I get a phone call and they say I'm moving to Minnesota, then I go buy a jacket. At that point, it's like go buy a jacket and maybe one of those Hummers, the wide ones. But after that, it doesn't happen, so I stay with the hoodie for night time."

Lee won't need a new wardrobe now. The Warriors ended their pursuit of Love long ago and opted for a light touchup over a major makeover.

Golden State's decision to keep its core together says a lot about the confidence management has in the roster heading into Tuesday's first training camp practice under new coach Steve Kerr. And for the players, it's extra motivation to build on a 51-win season and back-to-back playoff appearances.

The Warriors brought back all five starters — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Lee and Andrew Bogut — along with budding young reserves Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. They also added veteran guards Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa after letting backups Steve Blake and Jordan Crawford go elsewhere.

The Warriors, who fired coach Mark Jackson days after the season ended, had an opportunity to overhaul the roster. Ultimately, they chose not to include Thompson with Lee in any potential deal for Love.

Minnesota moved on and traded Love to Cleveland for a package of former No. 1 draft picks, which the Timberwolves might have preferred anyway.

Lee said he understands the business and has no ill will toward the Warriors. Thompson and Barnes — who was also thrown into the trade talks — gave similar responses previously this summer and seem well past the subject now.

"All I know is I'm still here and I have a Warriors jersey on," Thompson said.

The other offseason question surrounding Lee is one many of his teammates share: how healthy he is following an injury that required a procedure.

Lee said he's completely recovered from a "minor core muscle" surgery. He said the one positive from his rehabilitation is the only physical activity he could do for a while was work on his mid-range shooting, which he struggled with late last season.

Bogut said he feels as good as he ever has since coming to the Warriors. He fractured a rib just before the playoffs and missed the first-round series loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

Bogut said he could barely breathe at first and doctors told him he could've punctured a lung had he played. But he said the rib might have calcified enough had the Warriors extended their season, and he would've considered playing later in the second round and definitely by the conference finals.

Iguodala said he had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right knee, which sidelined him for most of the 19 games he missed last season. He said he has felt strong playing pickup games the last month with teammates.

Livingston, who had arthroscopic surgery on the big toe of his right foot Aug. 13, is the only player not expected to participate in Tuesday's opening practice. He will likely miss most, if not all, of training camp.

Livingston said his goal is to play in the regular-season opener at the Clippers on Oct. 7.

Backup center Festus Ezeli, who missed all of last season recovering from right knee surgery, and reserve guard Nemanja Nedovic (fractured right foot) are in the final stages of their rehabs. Both said they are planning to participate in training camp but will be worked in slowly.


Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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