After being quietly criticized for lifting their hind legs off the NBA’s salary cap system, the Golden State Warriors are now on the cusp of bowing to him as they whine about it.
Well, to be more clear, they haven’t given up yet but are hinting at caves, while they are definitely grumbling about it.
According to these notorious Bolsheviks Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson of the Athletic Club, main owner/non-majority owner Joe Lacob finally determined the amount of money he would not spend for more shows, a 7-to-1, tax-to-salary ratio spent to continue violating the luxury tax system Which the owners have always intended as the ultimate deterrent to breaching the cap. Lakob turned the tax into a small hedge he jumped on over and over to get to this point in the team’s life cycle, and when ESPN’s Brian Windhurst dropped his ill-explained remark about a purchased tournament, he was actually revealing that other owners had become annoyed with Lakobe’s arrogant stance on financial constraints. George Steinbrenner has been reincarnated, and a number of other more tax-religious owners have been up the spine and back hills.
Coincidental or not, and certainly hope not because there is an entertainment value in Malik and Malik’s crime that doesn’t include the kinds of things Danny Snyder would have to lie about in front of Congress, Lacope seems to be blinking. Or at least stare.
Slater and Thompson define the problem by assuming a push-all scenario involving Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Paul, and Clay Thompson:
Let’s do a rehearsal and get ambitious with it, ensuring that everyone is well compensated for 2023-24. Give Wiggins a run with the roughly $33 million he’s currently making. Give Paul a stretch starting at about $27 million. Bump Green, which has a player option, has a maximum salary and expansion of $30.9 million. Thompson already made $43.2 million that season. This brings the total salaries for the 2023-24 season to roughly $222 million. The expected tax line is $161 million. Warriors are ready to push their players. But their enemy is the collective bargaining agreement and its luxury tax rules. Warriors live in a more punitive bis tax. Multiply the numbers and you’re talking about a total bill (salary plus tax) of about $564 million.
Even $400 million is more than his appetite, Lacob said, so that’s how the tax really works, albeit at a much higher level than his fellow owners had imagined. Little did they realize that Lacobe would be the crazy bastard in the room. Then again, Lacobe didn’t realize when he bought the team that (a) Stephen Curry would be Stephen Curry, or (b) general manager Bob Myers was going to beat Lacobe by adding several championship assistants. All but Wiggins are locally grown, and no one thought Wiggins was anything but a gold-plated albatross until he found that he wasn’t talented first in the draft but a gorgeous brick-and-mortar option that fits perfectly in the world of Carrie Thompson Green.
This is Lacobe’s point when he complained that the tax shouldn’t apply to players you’ve recruited yourself, because it’s fitting that the Warriors have hit more battleship-level hits than any other team, and if Jonathan Kominga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman more than Just teens at large, that will continue. Lacobe wants to know why excellence in player recognition and development is being penalized.
Here, Lacobe deliberately avoids the point, which is that the cap is not designed to do anything other than deter owners from doing what Lacobe has done over and over again—spending like fleet sailors on vacation. His attitude is that there is good spending and very little good spending, and he stands almost alone on this hill. Other owners don’t mind a Lacob winning or enjoying watching nearly as much as they do dancing to cap and tax provisions while doing so. Or if he’s going to spend like money and be replaced by turnip as currency, he’s missing the playoffs as the Warriors did in 2020 and 2021.
It’s all just billionaires grumbling about another billionaire, which would be cool if it got to the point of cannibalism, but the broken sketches in Slater-Thompson’s authorship are this, truncated for clarity:
According to sources, Green wants and believes he deserves the maximum contract extension from the Warriors. August 3 is when he is eligible to sign a four-year deal. This is the required length. . . Green is set to make $25.8 million next season. He’s worth $27.5 million for 2023-24, but it’s a player option. He can turn it down and become a free agent next summer. So the maximum extension Green can sign starting next week involves him opting out of the final year of his current deal and signing a four-year, $138.4 million extension. . . Including next season, the maximum extension will close in on Green for $164.2 million over the next five seasons. He was 37 years old in the final season.
However, all indications are that the Warriors have no plans to offer Green the maximum extension, and there is no current traction on any type of extension. The typical style of a Golden State front desk is to extend with one year left. Even Stephen Curry waited until one year left before signing his maximum extension in the latest season. Green has two years to go before the maximum extension he signed in 2019. And while he could withdraw a year earlier, the Warriors’ current preference is to talk about the extension with Green next summer.
Now we see the third line. Letting Green walk basically means the end of the dynasty, and while you can all enjoy discussions about his lifespan (hint: you know nothing, because the future isn’t there to be known but experienced in real time), the warriors they have are built and defined around Carrie. and Thompson and Greene, with stars such as Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and now Wiggins. Letting Green walk for the money means that Lacob is ready, at least conceptually, to end the most successful era in franchise history, and one of the best dynasties in the history of the sport. One would think that Wiggins could be Green’s defensive stopper, but all the other things that the Greens praised are easy to provide, and besides, the Warriors always excelled at making them a friend of the player, which sever ties with the prospect of a Hall of Famer (The basketball reference puts his chances of extrapolation at 76 percent, slightly higher than Thompson’s) Financial reasons may change.
In other words, Greene is right in saying he’s worth every cent, but what he’s worth and what he’s actually going to get seems to be on radically divergent paths. Green was not only a servant of this once-privileged but a chauffeur, which means that Lacobe finally puts a dollar number at the end of his ownership contract while complaining all the time about how he was being punished for being so well appointed. It would be interesting to see this turn into an ongoing problem at league meetings, even though Steve Ballmer and Joe Tsai, who have a lot more money than Lacobe, are spending at similar levels without any of the shows Lacope organized. Watching this slowly develop into a full-blown NBA thing might be the rewarding entertainment that Durant’s future wasn’t, without any of the stench attached to Snyder. Men in suits turning on each other might be the next big thing now that the economy is eating itself up, and it might be the first sign of the billionaire apocalypse.
And if that’s the case, losing Draymond Green to the Washington Wizards, for example, is actually a small price to pay.