The Golden State Warriors are back-to-back champions and have won three of the last four NBA championships. It doesn’t appear there’s a team currently constructed to end the Warriors’ dynasty, so the only thing that can break this dominance by Golden State could be the high cost of keeping the team core together.
Luckily for Warriors fans, owner Joe Lacob says that won’t be an issue, as he’s prepared to go deep into the luxury tax in order to keep the roster intact.
“All good things cost a lot,” Lacob told ESPN. “We’re going to try to sign Klay [Thompson] and Draymond [Green] to extensions this summer. They’ve earned the right to do whatever they want. Maybe they want to wait until free agency. I can’t control that. But we’ll do whatever we can to keep them.”
Sharpshooter Stephen Curry is signed through the 2021-22 season, while Green has two years left on his current deal. Kevin Durant is expected to decline his player option for the 2018-19 season but will re-sign with the Warriors.
Durant sacrificed some money for the franchise last summer. He signed a two-year, $51 million deal, taking close to $10 million less than what he could have earned on a max salary so that the Warriors could retain forward Andre Iguodala and backup point guard Shaun Livingston.
The two-time Finals MVP will be turning down a salary of $26.2 million for next season so he can get a more lucrative contract this time around.
Then there’s Thompson, who is due $18.9 million next year. If he were to sign an extension this summer, Thompson would cost himself close to $86 million, as he would make roughly $102 million over the next five years. While that’s a nice dollar figure, if the All-Star waited until 2019, he would be looking at a max contract starting around $188 million.
The luxury tax isn’t that big of a deal for teams nowadays. The repeater tax, however, a penalty for being in the luxury tax multiple times during a certain period, is something Lacob and the Warriors will have to monitor.
“We’ve proven that if we think we’re competing for a championship, we’ll be in the luxury tax,” Lacob said. “No one wants to be, but we expect to be. All I can tell you is we’re going to sit down and do our planning on how we’re going to improve the team for the future and setting ourselves up in the future. And it could go a number of different ways.”