What the Golden State Warriors have been able to accomplish since the 2014-15 campaign puts them in rarefied air in the annals of NBA lore. Over an eight-year period, we’re talking six Finals appearances, four championships, as well as a bonanza of All-Star appearances and individual awards.
That level of sustained success doesn’t come cheap in today’s Association, though, and the Dubs are definitely paying the price for it.
Joe Lacob and Co. doled out $69 million in luxury tax payments alone in 2020-21, $170 million last season and will likely top $180 million in 2022-23. As such, hoops pundits have wondered whether they’ll be able to keep both Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins in the fold after next season.
However, the club arguably has an even bigger question looming regarding the future of veteran star Draymond Green.
The word on the street is that Green desires another max extension from his team. As he heads into his mid-30s, though, one has to wonder whether such a move is advisable. In speaking to Heavy.com, one league executive sounded off on what’s to come for the Warriors and their defensive anchor/point forward.
The Max Money Debate
The Western Conference executive expressed to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that, really, the Warriors are probably the only team in the Association that should even consider giving Green another max payday. That said, the exec doesn’t foresee a huge drop-off in production occurring in Green’s immediate future.
So, if they’re willing to pay him now amid massive tax penalties, they can probably do so in the future and expect a similar return on their investment.
“With Draymond, there are not a lot of teams out there that would give him the max. You can’t. He’s really got to fit your other personnel and the Warriors fit him really well, on both sides. But what he does, he should be able to do that for them for most of another contract,” the exec said.
“He will be 33 next summer, you can get two or three years out of him — it’s not like what he does is all about athleticism. As long as he can move on defense, keep playing at that level, keep picking you apart with his passing, he’ll play up to what they’re paying him.”
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Trouble Ahead, Or…?
Having said that, the exec confessed that things could get a little hairy as the end of this hypothetical extension approaches, opining that “the back end of the contract, that might be a problem. It might get to be like it was with [Andre Iguodala] at the end of his big contract there.”
As a 35-year-old, Iguodala (and his $17.2-million salary for 2019-20) was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies as a cost-cutting measure. At the time, the Dubs were staring the hard cap in the face following their move to acquire D’Angelo Russell as a sign-and-trade player in exchange for Kevin Durant.
Nevertheless, the exec expects Lacob, team president Bob Myers and the rest of the team’s brain trust to reward Green for the role he has played in making the Dubs a modern-day dynasty.
“I don’t think anyone else would give that max to him but the Warriors would sort of be paying him for years of service, you know? The owners, they remember that he stayed out there when everything fell apart [in 2019-20] and set an example for Wiggins and Poole and Looney, and all that paid off for them later, this year.
“That’s important, they’ll reward him.”