Warriors Star Projected to Refuse Taking Pay Cut to Help Team

Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors.

It didn’t take long for the championship celebrations to fade for the Golden State Warriors. Headlines quickly shifted from the team’s most recent title to the upcoming financial issues that the Warriors are set to run into. With how deep they are into the luxury tax, Golden State won’t be able to pay everyone.

Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole will all need contract extensions in the next two seasons. Golden State will need to decide which players they want to pay and which they plan on parting ways with.

While Thompson could potentially take a pay cut to help the Warriors pay their four core players, others may not be as apt to do so. According to Brady Klopfer of Golden State of Mind, it’s highly unlikely that Green would be willing to take a pay cut to help the team.

“The Warriors stars don’t exactly have a cuddly relationship with Joe Lacob, as evidenced by Klay thanking Bob Myers when he talks about the team investing in him,” Klopfer wrote. “But it’s not lost on Klay that the Dubs gave him a max contract without thinking twice, knowing he wouldn’t play the first year. It’s not lost on him that, three years into that five-year deal, he’s collected about $2 million for every game he’s played. He’s not going to take a pay cut to fatten Lacob’s pockets, but he’s definitely going to enter free agency feeling like the Warriors have taken care of him. I’m not sure we can say the same about Green.”

Klopfer explained why Thompson is more likely to take a pay cut than Green or anyone else on the Warriors.

Why Thompson Could Take Pay Cut

Throughout the years, the Warriors have made it a point to pay their players. Along the way, guys like Curry and Green have taken pay cuts to help the team build their roster, but regardless, Golden State has treated its players well.

Thompson got a big-time paycheck from the Warriors even after his injury in the 2019 NBA Finals. Because of that, he might be more willing to help the team out this time around.

“Thompson’s recent contract has taken great care of him,” said Klopfer. “The Warriors signed him to a max contract less than three weeks after he tore his ACL, knowing he wouldn’t be available for the first year of the deal, and knowing he might never be the same player. They paid him nearly $33 million in 2019-20 knowing good and well that he wouldn’t play a single game. He got paid more than $35 million (more than 150% of Green’s salary) in 2020-21 while, again, not playing a single game.”

Plus, Thompson has earned more money than Green up to this point in their respective careers.

Thompson Can Afford Pay Cut More

While Thompson’s last deal was a max contract, Green has never earned that much. That sort of thing is highly likely to affect things this time around.

“Thompson has more room to take a pay cut than Green does. He’s making $15 million more than Dray this year, and he’ll make $16 million more in 2023-24 if Green opts into the final year of his deal,” Klopfer explained. “He’s lived the max contract life, which Dray has not. He can shave a lot of money off his deal and still be making bank, which Dray cannot.”

In the end, both Green and Thompson could end up earning max contracts, but if that’s the case, then the Warriors would probably have to give up one of Wiggins or Poole. If they want to keep their young core while also holding onto the old guard, something will have to budge.

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The Traveling Urquidez
The Traveling Urquidez
27 days ago

The core is under contract next year. Why are writers so interested in contracts that are not due until the following season? Nobody knows what will happen next season. Draymond may get hurt, or one of the kids may play well and push Draymond to the bench. Let it play out. No need to create “what if” drama.

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