We’ve known for a long time that the Golden State Warriors are going to have some decisions to make, and some gigantic bills to pay. You don’t build a foundation around four All-Stars, and then add a fifth, without having these things come your way.
In an article for The Athletic, Anthony Slater broke down just how many different decisions the organization, and the players will have next summer. The biggest question mark, of course, is Kevin Durant, who took a one-plus-one deal which will almost surely make him a free agent again next summer. This gives Durant the option to leave in the offseason, or to sign for the supermax (which he was not eligible for this year), of about $220 million over five years.
But beyond that, there are still questions everywhere. Slater notes that, assuming Patrick McCaw returns for the qualifying offer, the team will have eight free agents out of 14 slots. And of the six players under contract beyond next summer, only Stephen Curry and Jacob Evans don’t have serious question marks attached to them.
Two veterans in particular - Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston - are in interesting situations. Both will remain under contract, but if the Warriors keep their core, their tax bill will be enormous, and those players may not make sense to keep around. Here’s Slater’s detailing on the situation:
Livingston is currently owed nearly $8 million for the 2019-20 season. But only $2 million of that is guaranteed. By June 30, right before that crucial July arrives, the Warriors must decide whether to fully guarantee it or save more than $20 million (when accounting all the luxury tax penalties) by cutting him.
Iguodala’s the next question mark. He’s locked into a $17.1 million contract for that 2019-20 season, fully guaranteed. There’s no easy opt-out like Livingston. But if Iguodala shows increased signs of a decline this upcoming season, there are questions to be asked and ways to answer. Is he still worth the $50-plus million in tax penalties or do they go searching for a place like Atlanta to shed that expense, Carmelo Anthony style?
It’s worth reading the whole article, as it paints a perfect picture of the wild and unpredictable summer facing the Warriors, as they seek to remain in contention for years to come.