Warriors couldn’t agree to match Gary Payton II contract, says Joe Lacob


Lacob says Dubs couldn’t accept corresponding GP2 contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Prior to the start of NBA free agency, the Warriors made it known that they wanted to bring back Gary Payton II, and they were considered the favorites to sign the versatile wing.


But once the players were able to talk to other teams, it became clear that Payton’s price was going to be much higher than the Warriors expected.

Ultimately, Payton went from making $1.9 million last season with the Warriors to signing a three-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers worth $29 million.

The decision not to match the Blazers’ offer for Payton would have “stung” members of the Warriors organization, who turned him into a key member of the rotation.

On Thursday, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob spoke with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami and touched on a host of topics, including not bringing back several of their own free agents and the luxury tax bill Golden State will pay. again.

“No surprise to us that if these guys had… like Gary Payton had a good year and if he got a big offer, it would be very unlikely that we were going to re-sign him, no matter how much we like him” “, Lacob told Kawakami. “And we loved him very much. He got a much bigger offer, in fact, than we thought he would get. Well beyond. And I’m not saying it’s not worth it or worth it. But it’s a lot. And it’s not something we could really have fun doing.”

The Warriors also lost Otto Porter Jr. to the Toronto Raptors. They would have liked to bring him back but he just played out of Golden State’s price range.

“And Otto Porter,” Lacob told Kawakami. “We had a great year. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve what he got because he is. But if he got it, we knew we’d be in trouble. And that’s how it went. To a certain extent, those guys played really well and made themselves more valuable and we made them more valuable. And so, unfortunately, in this situation, they have to pass to something else and we have to bring in other guys.

With Payton, Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damion Lee gone to free agency, the Warriors had spots to fill.

Surprisingly, Donte DiVincenzo became a free agent when the Kings refused to make him a qualifying offer. Even more surprisingly, the Warriors managed to sign him to a two-year contract worth $9.3 million.

And while Warriors might have wanted to bring Payton back, the price difference for him and DiVincenzo worked better for Lacob, team president Bob Myers and the rest of the front office.

“Now we’ve stepped things up with Donte DiVincenzo in a way that we probably didn’t plan on doing, but after losing a bunch of guys and feeling pretty dark, he became an opportunity,” Lacob said. in Kawakami. “Very good player. He became an opportunity and we had to go as far as possible. As a result, we are significantly above what we were last year, which is already a record of the NBA.

“And Donte wasn’t a minimum. Last year we signed all the minimums. That said, the difference between Donte and Gary, let’s say, isn’t just that. Gary was a minimum player in the year last. And you multiply everything by six or seven, or whatever the multiple is, that’s a huge amount of money. So I guess the answer to your question is, I wasn’t really too optimistic at first that “We could hold all these guys. We thought we could hold one or two. It didn’t go that way. It went worse than that. Or better, if you will, for them.”

Lacob defended how the Warriors spend money when it comes to their team’s total salary and the resulting luxury tax bill, which will again be huge.

“You may remember last year when we went through this, everyone was saying Bob had bad free agency,” Lacob said. “He only signed minimums. And the reason for that is, really, when you’re super heavy like us, you have these guys who have been with our team for a long time, Steph [Curry]Clay [Thompson]Draymond [Green]. You can add [Andrew] More Wiggins. Four big contracts, three that have been with us for a long time and that bring in a lot of money. They include the entire payroll, normalized. So going back to that, we knew last year we didn’t use the mid tier, we were pretty clear that we probably weren’t going to use it. Same thing, for the most part this year. But we know we have to fill the bottom of the list with minimums and be very smart about it.

“We got some criticism last year, but actually Bob did an amazing job. Talk about whatever works. All those guys… [Andre] Iguodala was injured quite a bit, but other than that it went really well. And the problem with that, on the other end, today those guys, because we won and because they played well, are much more valuable than they were a year ago. a year. We are in the same situation as a year ago. We can’t do much more than minimums. You can’t sign free agents. We don’t have the money to do it.”

RELATED: How Draymond sees DiVincenzo helping the Warriors

Warriors fans were attached to players like Payton, Porter and Toscano-Anderson, players with good stories who helped the team win an NBA championship. But the front office still has to make tough decisions and letting those players walk was tough.

The hope for the Warriors is that their young players — Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, Moses Moody and 2022 first draft pick Patrick Baldwin Jr. — can step in and fill in the minutes left by free agent departures. If they can, it will make losses much less painful.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk podcast