The Golden State Warriors have joined the dynastic Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls as one of less than a handful of teams to earn six NBA Finals appearances in eight years.
Golden State is now three wins from earning its fourth title during this span as the team prepares for Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics Wednesday evening.
There’s certainly a financial aspect to all of this. The Warriors’ brass, led by co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, have not been afraid to spend hundreds of millions on an annual basis to keep their core group together.
Golden State continues to pay into the NBA luxury tax with a record number of cash going to other NBA teams who are under said tax. Apparently, this is not sitting well with rival organizations around the Association.
Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe, rivals have been “grumbling” about the Warriors “competitive spending advantage” over other teams. It was part of a larger-scale piece from the NBA insider displaying how the Warriors were able to overcome the loss of Kevin Durant in free agency and multiple injuries over the past two seasons to return to the NBA Finals in 2022.
Golden State Warriors and the NBA salary cap
This season saw the Warriors $40 million over the NBA luxury tax. As of right now, every penny they spend to retain their core group will cost another penny in the luxury tax. That is to say, a potential payroll of $475 million in 2022-23 if Golden State re-signs its free agents and signs other soon-to-be free agents to extensions. This is crazy given that the projected 2022-23 NBA salary cap is $122 million.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers hinted recently that they could very well sign star young guard Jordan Poole to a five-year, $190 million max-level extension during the summer. Big-time contributors Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. are also slated to become free agents.
None of this takes into account Andrew Wiggins’ status as a free agent after the 2022-23 season and the likelihood that both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will hit the market the following summer.
With that said, it’s pretty laughable for other teams to be crying poor when it comes to the Golden State Warriors’ spending. Each organization that is not at the tax receives millions from the Warriors directly due to their luxury tax situation.
Whether the Warriors can maintain this spending moving forward remains to be seen. But it’s not their fault that the NBA collective bargaining agreement allows them to keep homegrown talent while going over the tax.
After all, the three core players during this eight-year run (Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson) were all drafted by the team. This trio makes up $115-plus million of Golden State’s cap number for next season.