The Warriors Are Paying Through The Nose To Keep The Gang Together

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When reports surfaced last week that Andre Iguodala was not planning to meet with Golden State officials to start free agency, it looked for a minute like he might actually wind up someplace else this summer. And then, when he took a meeting with the Rockets and then abruptly cancelled all other meetings, it looked for a minute like we might’ve learned where that someplace else might be. But no!


Woj has the deal around $48 million for three years, after the Warriors dug deep to convince Iguodala to return. The Warriors also recently landed on a one-year deal to retain David West, after agreeing to a three-year deal with Shaun Livingston and, of course, Steph Curry’s $201 million DPVE mega-deal. Those deals alone account for close to $70 million in 2017-2018 salary (assuming David West’s contract isn’t very far north of the $2.3 million minimum he can earn with 10+ years of NBA service). For one starter and three backups!

They also owe some big bucks for the rest of their main guys. Klay Thompson will earn close to $18 million next season; Draymond Green will earn over $16 million. For those counting, we just blew past the NBA’s $99 million salary cap for the 2017-2018 season, and we haven’t even gotten to Kevin Durant. Durant reportedly plans to wait until the Warriors have made the necessary moves to keep the team strong, and then accept something less than his maximum salary to return. But Durant’s maximum salary is around $35 million! The luxury tax line in 2017-2018—the salary total beyond which a team has to pay the league a tax per excess dollar spent, sometimes higher than $4.50 per dollar—is set at about $119 million. The Warriors will have blown by that line by nearly $10 million by the time they sign Durant, and that’s even if he takes no raise over the $27 million he made in 2016-2017. And we’ve only counted seven Warriors players!


And the crazy thing is, most of these deals could be considered below market value—Steph’s is a massive discount, but so is Klay’s deal, which pays him about $5 million less next season than Bradley Beal will earn; and Draymond’s, which pays him about $3 million less next season than Ryan Anderson will earn; and Livingston’s, and probably Iguodala’s. And Durant’s certainly will be. 

Being the best team in the history of the NBA ain’t cheap, man.