Apparently, we aren’t done talking about next year yet - and maybe we’ll never be.
Anyways, on Sunday, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic posted an article titled, Joe Lacob on the Warriors’ future — ‘We’ll be aggressive; nobody’s going to outspend us.’ The article isn’t necessarily any fresh perspective, but it is new discussion of a fairly tired topic that our players have long grown weary of addressing; and notable because it’s the first time ownership has clearly addressed some of these issues this season.
To recap: the Golden State Warriors have assembled what is almost certainly the best roster of all time. Led by Durant and Stephen Curry (two players who are in the conversation for greatest player of all time), and supported by a couple of players who seem like a shoe-in for the hall of fame (Klay Thompson and Demarcus Cousins) - it’s only their lack of scoring that would potentially keep Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala out of the hall of fame.
So yeah. A disgusting abundance of talent. But all of this comes with an enormous price tag, especially next season. With the Free Agnecy period ending this week, and some big names potentially on the move, both Durant and Thompson’s names have been continually dredged up. The thinking (from the outside) is that there’s no way the team pays both of these guys with the max contracts they both deserve.
Well, Joe Lacob would like to formally announce to the rest of the league that his pockets are very, very deep. As reported by Kawakami:
“We can do whatever we want (financially),” Lacob said. “And you should expect that that’s not going to be a reason this team … doesn’t stay great going forward. We have the capital to pay our players what they deserve. And we will.
“That’s not really the issue. The issue is more about people have to want to play here and it’s on us to make it a great environment.”
“The Warriors know Durant is at least thinking about leaving or else he would’ve signed a much longer deal last July”
Here’s the crux of the matter as spelled out by Kawakami. We don’t know if Durant is staying or not, but one of the only things we can be certain of: he at least wants to keep his options open in case he does want to leave. Asking him about it repeatedly isn’t going to help.
Now, I’m going to paste a comment from our writers Slack chat from resident sage Sleepy Freud and encourage all of you readers to ruminate on Durant’s taciturn approach to addressing all the free agency rumors:
Watching Kyrie stick his foot in his mouth pretty much every time he opens it (about the shape of the earth, about his “leadership skills,” and now about his bogus pledge to stay in Boston) makes me respect KD for not saying boo to [various reporters].
Remember when people were giving KD crap for not “verbally committing” to the team the way Kyrie did? In retrospect, that just makes him look wise, imho. Talk is cheap.
Without any sort of assurance, people begin to fill in their own narratives. Hell, just this weekend we saw a local writer dip their toes into the “you owe us an answer” waters - with predictably bad results. Durant, for what it’s worth, has already said his piece, telling Chris Haynes, “I just want to make sure I get as much money as I can on my next deal, so I can stack up my money and figure it out.”
Klay Thompson has indicated he’ll stay, repeatedly. But again, who knows. While we await further developments, it’s pretty much a given that fans are going to end this season without any sort of assurance that the whole team will return next year. Hopefully it’s comforting to know that ownership is officially willing to pay both of our big name Free Agents what they’re worth.