As the past season has shown, winning an NBA title is hard and it’s about to get even harder and more expensive for the Golden State Warriors. Although the defending champs are still riding the high from this past June, an article by Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson of The Athletic details how an impending doomsday cap scenario may disrupt this current iteration of the Dubs’ dynasty.
Extension season is coming and the Warriors have to make some tough decisions that could come with major ramifications.— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) July 27, 2022
They begin next week with a championship pillar in Draymond Green, who wants to get paid.
✍ with @anthonyVslater https://t.co/Mx74CjCDgy pic.twitter.com/bxzZrQFSac
The problem begins with the upcoming contract extensions for several key players on the roster. This list includes extensions for Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole. In theory, the Warriors could elect to keep all of them, but that would result in a luxury tax bill totaling upwards of $564 million dollars — a fee Golden State owner Joe Lacob is unlikely to pay. This results in some tough decisions for the Warriors front office as they have to decide who to pay and who they may have to let go.
Of the names listed, the most divisive conversations amongst Warriors fans revolve around Draymond Green. He is currently set to make $53.3 million for the remaining two years of his deal. Although Green is under contract for the upcoming season, he has a player option for the final year where he can opt out and become a free agent. Because of this, Green is seeking a max extension from the Warriors according to Slater and Thompson.
Via The Athletic:
Green, according to sources, wants and believes he deserves a maximum contract extension from the Warriors. Aug. 3 is when he is eligible to sign a four-year deal. That is his desired length.
However, with the implications it would have on the team’s cap sheet, as well as the precedent that they have set with previous high profile contract negotiations, Golden State’s front office currently has “no plans” to offer Green that extension yet.
Via The Athletic:
All indications, though, are that the Warriors have no plans to offer Green a maximum extension, and there isn’t any current traction on any type of extension. The typical pattern of this Golden State front office is to extend with one year remaining. Even Stephen Curry waited until one year remained before signing his max extension last offseason. Green has two years remaining on the maximum extension he signed in 2019. While he could opt out a year earlier, the Warriors’ current preference is to talk extension with Green next summer.
It is important to note that the value of Green’s max extension is different than the value of a potential max contract. With this in mind, Slater and Thompson note that Green’s max extension will only result in a salary cap hit that is $3.4 million higher than his final year.
Via The Athletic:
Green is set to make $25.8 million this coming season. He is due $27.5 million for 2023-24, but it’s a player option. He can decline it and become a free agent next summer. So the maximum extension Green could sign starting next week involves him opting out of the final year of his current deal and signing a four-year extension worth $138.4 million. His starting number for a max extension is only $3.4 million higher than his option year — not nothing but certainly not a ridiculous raise or uncontrollable tax spike.
Including this coming season, a max extension would lock in Green for $164.2 million over the next five seasons. He’d turn 37 years old in the final season.
The argument for Green to get paid is obvious. He is a Warriors’ legend, a 4-time NBA champion, a future hall-of-famer, and the vocal leader of the team. On the court, he is Golden State’s defensive anchor. Whether it’s shutting down opposing big men as a small ball center, guarding elite perimeter players in isolation, or assisting teammates with suffocating help defense, it’s no question that Green’s unique value to the Warriors has made them special on the defensive side of the ball over the past decade. Although his role on offense can be frustrating at times, his basketball IQ and chemistry with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have helped made the Warriors into the offensive powerhouse that they are today.
With all that being said, signing Green to such a hefty contract does have its negatives. At 32 years old, he is coming off an injury riddled regular season in which he only played 46 games due to a back injury. The contract may seem fine now, but will it be worth it when Green is older and has presumably lost a step in terms of athleticism?
There is also the opportunity cost of giving Green his extension. A deal would most likely mean the Warriors would forgo the extensions to one of their younger players in an effort to lessen the luxury tax. Does keeping an older version of the Big 3 for a couple more years warrant losing out on their young talent?
If the goal is to maximize Golden State’s current championship window, then the answer to these questions is a loud and arrogant YUUUUP. Four NBA titles and 6 NBA Finals appearances over the past 8 years is a testament to the core’s success. If that’s not enough, there is also the fact that the trio has never lost a playoff series in which they have played in every game from the start.
Again, the entire article from The Athletic is worth the read as it gives further context into the extensions for Wiggins, Poole, and Thompson and how they all effect Golden State in the big picture.
What do you think? Should the Warriors give Draymond a max extension? Let us know down below.