The ongoing stability of the Golden State Warriors’ Big Three — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — has been the most important factor in the team’s winning four titles in the last eight seasons.
Curry wants to keep this nucleus together and would be annoyed if the team loses Green over money, The Athletic’s Warriors insiders Marcus Thompson II and Anthony Slater reported on July 27.
“Multiple sources said Curry would not be happy if the Warriors lost Green because the team didn’t want to pay him,” Thompson and Slater wrote. “Curry is under contract for four more years and has a desire for Green and Thompson to be with him for the length of his stay. A three-year extension would align Green’s contract with Curry’s.”
Interestingly, Curry wants his contract to run parallel with those of Green and Thompson.
One has to wonder whether, when it’s all said and done, all three of them would want to leave at the same time. Even if they did, keeping all three at least through 2026 seems financially unlikely.
Draymond Green Willing to Walk If Not Paid
Green, who has spent all 10 years of his career with Golden State, “wants and believes he deserves a maximum contract extension” worth $164 million to stay with the Warriors through the 2026-27 season, Thompson and Slater reported sources saying.
But, they wrote, he would be willing to walk away from the Warriors if he can find a better deal elsewhere, perhaps even declining his player option and becoming a free agent next summer.
Golden State, however, does not appear to have Green in their long-range plans.
“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,” Thompson and Slater wrote.
The Warriors are looking to cut back on payroll, they wrote, so giving Green and Thompson (not to mention Andrew Wiggins) would be too costly.
“Extending all those players would lock in astronomical luxury-tax penalties — sling-shotting their total bill (salary plus tax) well above the record $362 million they paid this past season. They’d be entering a stratosphere that [Warriors owner Joe] Lacob, transparently, has said he’s unwilling to touch,” they wrote.
Lacob acknowledged to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami in a July 8 story that keeping the core players on the salaries they would command would be impossible. Included with the luxury tax and the team’s growing payroll, the total amount for the 2023-24 season could be north of $550 million.
“I’m going to tell you your numbers are kind of messed up,” Lacob said. “I’m already in trouble with the rest of the league. We are in trouble for being where we are. … “You know, we kind of blew a hole in the system, and it’s not a good look from the league’s perspective.”
Over a Decade Together as a Trio
Something’s got to give right? With the Big Three getting older, the Dubs will have to prioritize keeping their young talent intact, especially once the trio goes past their prime.
The careers of the trio would not be where they are without each other. Green is the perfect sidekick to Curry both on and off the court. The Michigan native’s playmaking is a huge reason it allows Curry to get such open looks from the perimeter. Curry’s ability to be so effective without the ball in his hands allows Green to be effective offensively and gives Klay the opportunity to get his shots up.
In this day and age in the NBA, stars usually do not last so long on a singular team, let alone three. Curry has played 13 seasons with the Warriors and stayed. Thompson has been with the club for the past 11 seasons, counting the two seasons he did not play from 2019 to 2021. Green has spent all 10 seasons with the Warriors.