The Golden State Warriors are in a financial dilemma this summer. They have four players who will all need new contracts soon – Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole – and would have to pay a ridiculous luxury tax if they kept most of them.
Green, the loud big man who just won his fourth NBA Finals championship trophy with the Warriors since their dynasty began in 2014 is eligible for a new contract as early as August 3, and sources have told Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic that Green believed he deserved a max contract that would lock him in for $164.2 million over the next five seasons.
That’s, without a doubt, a lot of money for Green – a player who hasn’t averaged more than eight points per game since 2017 and sometimes looked like a shell of himself over the past season. . Slater and Thompson II added that “the Warriors do not intend to offer Green maximum extension, and there is no current traction on any type of extension.”
The Warriors’ reluctance to extend Green this offseason appears to be less about the team’s perception of Green’s value and more about the schedule Golden State typically takes with extensions — Slater and Thompson II noted that the Warriors generally wait for him one year left for a player. current contract before signing it for a maximum extension.
While Green technically has two years left on the four-year extension he signed ahead of the 2019 seasonhe can opt out of this contract before the last year of this agreement before the upcoming season.
This looming possibility could force the Warriors’ hand one way or the other.
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If the Warriors aren’t willing to give Green the maximum, there’s a chance he could explore other options to get the contract he thinks he deserves. It should be noted that Green also has a 15% trade kicker in his current deal if the Warriors move him as well. Golden State also runs the risk of angering Steph Curry if they decide not to keep Green, according to Slater and Thompson II:
Although his desire is to stay with the Warriors, Green is said to be willing to explore his outside options to get the type of contract he wants. It’s a risk the Warriors management seem willing to take. Green playing this season with a chip on his shoulder, motivated to prove to the league that he deserves maximum contact, could have a positive impact on the field.
Perhaps a bigger concern is how the NBA Finals MVP would think Green wouldn’t get an overtime. Multiple sources said Curry wouldn’t be happy if the Warriors lost Green because the team didn’t want to pay him. Curry is under contract for four more years and wants Green and Thompson to be with him for the duration of his stay. A three-year extension would align Green’s contract with Curry’s.
Curry sees the Big Three as a forfeit.
It’s all about the money
Whether or not the Warriors extend Green seems to be a question of money. If the Warriors find a way to pay Green, Thompson, Wiggins and Poole, the team could spend more than $200 million in luxury taxes by 2024 and $400-500 million in total. Those numbers seem untenable for Warriors owner Joe Lacob.
“I’ll tell you, your numbers are a bit messed up,” Lacob told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami when presented with the possibility earlier in July. “…those numbers are not even remotely possible.
“You know, we kind of blew a hole in the system, and that’s not a good idea from a league perspective,” Lacob added. “They don’t want that to happen. And there are limits. I’m not going to say what they are, but there are limits to what you can do.
The NBA fined Lacob $500,000 for calling the luxury tax ‘very unfair’ last week after the Warriors paid more than $170 million in luxury tax (an NBA record) and $346 million in total payroll last season.
So it looks like even the Warriors wanted to keep all of their players eligible for the extension, they wouldn’t want to do that given the nature of the NBA’s salary cap structure. It’s just a matter of dollars and centers. And if an aging veteran like Green wants max-level money, he could be the odd man in the Warriors’ original Big Three, consisting of Green, Curry and Thompson.