The Golden State Warriors might already be a dynasty. Having won two of the past three NBA titles, this group of players is among the most successful in modern Association history.
With a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals, any lingering thought that the Warriors are not a dynasty would be swept away.
But how much longer can Golden State continue this run? Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant is in line for a $200-plus million payday this summer. Golden State doled out north of $200 million to Stephen Curry last summer. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson is set to become a free agent following the 2018-19 season.
It’s led to speculation that the Warriors might break up their core group following the Finals. That incldues whispers that the defending champs will look to move Thompson for a younger player. Hello, Anthony Davis.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers is now attempting to quiet those rumors by indicating that this team has earned the right to continue on its current path.
“I don’t know. I don’t think you can evaluate anything until your year is over, good, bad or in the middle,” Myers told Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s an incomplete product. Who knows. I have no idea if we win or lose, what that will look like. I think our players have shown they’re made of the right stuff. So you don’t do anything rash. They’ve earned the right to continue on this journey.”
It makes perfect sense. Curry, Durant and Thompson are still in the prime of their careers. Each one of them brings something different to the table. The glue that holds this thing together, Draymond Green, is signed for another two seasons.
Though, there’s definitely a financial component to this. Sure Golden State’s owners have indicated they are willing to do anything to compete for titles. In and of itself, the term “anything” can be seen as placating to the public.
If Golden State keeps its current core together, the organization is looking at a $244.5 million payroll for the 2018-19 season. That includes a luxury tax of $90.4 million. In 2020-21, those numbers will increase to $400.6 million and $222.7 million, respectively.
Owners Job Lacob and Peter Guber are looking at doling out north of $1 billion in payroll over the next three seasons. That doesn’t include extensions for both Thompson and Green. It’s an absurd figure. The high cost of winning.
Opening up a new waterfront arena in San Francisco following next season will certainly help with the organization’s bottom line. But we really have to wonder just how long this window can remain open. As in any business, the NBA world is all about money. Even for the super rich, a $1 billion investment over three years is absolutely insane.
Though, the Warriors can quiet any real talk of their dynasty window closing with a dominating win over the overmatched Cavaliers in this year’s Finals. By winning their third title in four years, it would become apparent that any financial commitment from the powers to be in Northern California will be well worth it.
Dynasties aren’t a dime a dozen. All-time great runs are just that…all-time great runs. Certainly, a win in this year’s NBA Finals would make the financial component of said run more background noise than anything else.