The Golden State Warriors are entering an offseason of change. That much was made clear after impending free agents Kevin Durant (ruptured Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) suffered major injuries in the team’s NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors.
While it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Thompson will return on a five-year, $190 million max contract, Durant’s future is up in the air. Golden State can offer him more than any other team. It’s a deal that would come in at $240 million over five seasons. The expectation is that Golden State will offer both max contracts.
It’s all Monopoly money at this point for the five-time defending Western Conference champs. In talking about that, Warriors general manager Bob Myers noted on Wednesday that the Warriors are pretty much operating without a budget.
“There’s never really been a hard budget,” Myers said. “We got to be cost conscious, too. I think that anybody would. But I will say that the decisions we’ve made, I think, don’t trust my words, trust our payroll…it’s big.”
The Warriors’ bloated payroll and repeater luxury tax has been known for some time. But recent projections from NBA.com are even more eye-opening.
If Golden State were to re-sign Thompson and Durant to max deals while offering Draymond Green the same type of contract in free agency next summer, the team would be paying a four-year luxury tax total of $1.6 billion. This doesn’t even take into account the team’s payroll.
It has been noted in the past that the Warriors’ ownership group of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are willing to do anything possible to keep this run going. San Francisco’s new Chase Center will help from a financial perspective.
Even then, the idea of paying out $390 million in guaranteed deals to two players in Thompson and Durant who could miss all of next season is an expensive proposition. Add in the luxury tax, and that’s magnified further.
We guess it’s a good thing that the Dubs are operating without a budget. Whether that rings true moving forward remains to be seen.