What’s next for the Golden State Warriors?

what’s next for the golden state warriors?

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.

The Golden State Warriors rode an old and small roster to 46 wins this year. Some players from that roster won’t be returning.

Owner Joe Lacob was fine paying massive amounts of luxury tax when his team was a contender. The Warriors paid over half a billion dollars in luxury tax alone since 2017, thanks to the NBA’s punitive “repeater tax.” That’s why Lacob said the team’s “Plan 1” is to get under the tax.

“Our Plan 1, or 1A, is that we’d like to be out of the tax, and we think that we have a way to do that,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami on his podcast in February. “The truth is, we need to be out of the tax two years out of the next four in order to get this repeater thing off our books. We don’t want to be a repeater. It’s just so prohibitive.”

Right now, there’s an easy way under the tax. Chris Paul’s $30 million contract for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed. Klay Thompson’s $43.2 million salary is expiring. They can buy out center Kevon Looney’s $8M deal for $3M.

With those moves, Golden State can get to roughly $35M under the tax line, which is expected to be around $172M. But they don’t have a lot of assets to use for improvement.

The team owes its first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers, except in the unlikely scenario (3.4 percent chance) it ends up in the top four. The Warriors have only one second-round pick in the next five years, which should land in the 50’s this June. Golden State could trade one of its young players like Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody, both eligible for rookie extensions this summer, but do they really want to get even older?

They’d love to get out of the three years and $85M remaining on Andrew Wiggins’ contract, but teams won’t be lining up for that deal. Steve Kerr told reporters the team wants Thompson back, but he’s 34 years old, suffered tears to his ACL and his Achilles tendon and just went scoreless in a must-win game.

Golden State needs size and athleticism, but more than that, it simply needs better players. The only possible move to dramatically change the team is to trade Draymond Green, and it doesn’t sound like the franchise player would be on board with that.

The only certainty is that the team is going to get cheaper. And Steph Curry isn’t going anywhere.

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