Curry Sends Warriors Clear Message on Retaining Core Teammates

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors‘ leader Steph Curry is going to bat publicly for several of his teammates whose futures in the Bay Area are up in the air after this season.

Four of the Dubs’ core six players are up for new deals within the next two years and bringing everyone back on max deals, or anything close to max deals, could push Golden State’s roster bill (payroll plus luxury tax penalties for exceeding the NBA’s salary cap) upwards of $500 million — a financial situation that Warriors’ governor Joe Lacob has already said is untenable.

Curry spoke with media members on Sunday, September 25, during which he was asked for his thoughts on bringing the entire band back together following a title defense in 2022-23. Anthony Slater of The Athletic shared video of Curry’s comments via Twitter.

“We want the best chance to win every single year,” Curry said. “We’ve proven with this squad what the results have been. We want to keep it together as long as we can.”

Warriors Have Tough Personnel Decisions to Make in Coming Years

Jordan Poole, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyJordan Poole, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors.

Jordan Poole is eligible for a rookie extension, which must be agreed to by October 17 or he will hit restricted free agency next summer. Andrew Wiggins will be an unrestricted free agent following this season if he isn’t inked to a new contract.

Draymond Green has two years left on his current deal, but can exercise a player option following this season to enter free agency and negotiate a new deal, while Klay Thompson is locked up for the next two years before free agency kicks in for him in the summer of 2024.

If Lacob sticks to his guns on the team’s unwillingness to continue upping the price of its roster — despite already running out the most expensive squads in NBA history last season and this season — the Dubs are almost certain to say goodbye to one of the four aforementioned players. Which one will most likely depend on who is willing to take a little less to stay in the Bay.

Jordan Poole Most Likely Warriors Player to Exit Golden State

Jordan Poole Warriors-Celtics

GettyGolden State Warriors wing Jordan Poole reacts during Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

A Western Conference executive told Heavy NBA insider Sean Deveney earlier this month that Poole is the most likely player to depart Golden State. As the youngest and least wealthy of the four, Poole may be less inclined to take less money when he could probably get a max offer in a situation that also affords him a more substantive role.

“[Poole] got to show what he can do a bit when everyone was hurt and the team was bad, but he got pushed back within the team once [Thompson] was healthy and everyone was talking about Wiggins and all,” the exec said. “It depends on how they handle this contract. But if he gets the sense they do not want him, yeah, he is the one I could imagine looking elsewhere.”

While Poole represents a youth movement that the Warriors have said they are committed to regarding players like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, he is also probably the least essential piece based on what the Dubs’ roster needs actually are.

Poole’s offense is somewhat redundant with a healthy Thompson starting ahead of him at shooting guard. Beyond that, Poole is a defensive liability, whereas Wiggins and Green were key pieces on that end of the floor during the Dubs’ run to the title last year.

If Poole does depart, it leaves open a stronger possibility for the Warriors to pay an aging Green, who has said he wants a max contract. However, Green added on Sunday that he doesn’t believe he will receive a max offer from the Warriors before this year is out.

NBA insiders have almost universally questioned whether any team will offer Green a max deal should he hit free agency. It is hard to imagine Green abandoning Curry and the only NBA team he has ever played for to take anything less than the most money possible with another franchise.

Thompson’s contract status is likely to be tied heavily to his health and performance this season, as he will begin the 2022-23 campaign healthy for the first time in three years.

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Rolland Makinano
Rolland Makinano
2 months ago

If Curry wants his core players to stay,
and is so adamant about it.
Maybe he should consider renegotiating his contract. Curry is making far more on the side than his yearly contract with all the endorsements that he has going.

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