Insider Serves Up Harsh Reality Check on Warriors’ Tax Crunch

Joe Lacob Warriors Owner

Getty Warriors owner Joe Lacob attends the 2019 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center.

Three months have passed since the big win but fans in the Bay Area are still basking in the glory of the Golden State Warriors‘ fourth NBA championship in eight seasons. And rightfully so — winning the title is a rare and wondrous feat for even the best-run franchises.

Not everything came up aces for the team this summer, though. Painfully, the Warriors were forced to stand idly by as two key members of their championship squad — Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. — left the fold, a development that had almost everything to do with the club’s wild luxury tax situation.

For his part, Joe Lacob has cried foul at the whole tax system. Sure, he’s paying out more than any owner ever has to keep his team together. At the same time, though, the Warriors are essentially being penalized for their incredible ability to identify and grow talent.

While Dub Nation some would like to see that changed in order to reward teams that draft well and do things the right way, the latest reports on the league’s forthcoming CBA negotiations offer little hope that the Warriors will be getting any tax relief.

Shams: Some Teams Want Stiffer Luxury Tax Penalties

Rival Teams Upset Warriors Luxury Tax Cheese! 2022 NBA SeasonSplash the like button for more NBA videos! Follow On Twitch! New Splash Crewneck/Shirt Available! My NBA 2021-22 Playlist! Stay up to date with the series! My Social Media Links The Warriors are paying a league record $346 million to keep their lineup together!2022-06-08T12:00:09Z

In August, a Western Conference executive told’s Sean Deveney that the Dubs could, in theory, push for some kind of provision easing the tax fines where retaining homegrown ballers is concerned. The exec just couldn’t imagine a world where other teams would go along with such a thing.

“They can bring it up in the next CBA but they probably might not get a lot of support on it. There are not a lot of teams that are going to be sympathetic to the guys with a $200 million payroll,” the exec said.

More recently, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania dropped his intel on the forthcoming negotiations, and he’s hearing that there’s actually a movement to make the fines even worse for teams like the Warriors who blowpast the tax threshold year after year.

“While the prospect of a hard cap on team salaries appears to be a non-starter for the NBPA, more punitive penalties for the luxury tax system is a point of emphasis for the league and some team governors,” wrote Charania.

“Team executives believe the tax penalty will be arguably the biggest issue to resolve in the next CBA.”

Sweeping Changes Coming?

While there’s a contingent that wants to make the big spenders pay out even more than they already are, there’s also a chance that the whole tax system could be overhauled.

“Changing the overall structure of the tax could be an aspect both sides address,” Charania added.

Whether the latter item is a good thing or a bad thing for the Dubs is difficult to discern. But if the movement to make the system more punitive than it already succeeds, the departures that Golden State experienced this offseason may become little more than a preamble to the real gut punch.

A difficult Jordan Poole-Andrew Wiggins choice looms next summer. After that, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and more await.

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