It’s the cost of winning titles — the players on your team come up for free agency and want to get paid.
The Warriors locked up Klay Thompson last summer, Draymond Green this summer, and now they are focused on keeping next year’s free agents, too: Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli.
With the salary cap about to spike and at least two-thirds of the NBA expected to have room for at least one max deal, the Warriors could be better just locking guys up at a fair deal now. Warriors GM Bob Myers was on KNBR Radio in the Bay Area and talked extensions a little bit. From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:
In the case of Barnes, the question is can the two sides find a number that works for them? If Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just got four-years, $52 million Barnes will want at least that and probably more. The Warriors already have five players making eight digits in salary for the 2016-17 season (Thompson, Green, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry). They are going to be bumping up against the new cap already. If you’re Barnes, do you want to see what the market will bring you next summer than ask the Warriors to match it? That might be the better option for Barnes.
With Bogut nearing the end of his deal (two seasons left), Ezeli has the ability to show the Warriors he can step into that role (guys around the team are high on him) and get paid like it. Right now, the Warriors would love to lock him down at a discount, Ezeli may want to get through the season and let the market set his price.
It’s something to watch. All summer long guys have taken discounts for security, can the Warriors get Barnes and Ezeli to do the same?
In the hours leading up to the second game between Australia and New Zealand — a game with an Olympic bid hanging in the balance — Andrew Bogut’s back was bothering him so much he struggled to get out of bed.
He found a way to the court Tuesday then scored 10 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked two shots and led Australia to an 89-79 win that qualifies them for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Australia and New Zealand played a home-and-home series to decide the FIBA Oceanic area title and with it a spot in the Olympics, and the Boomers won both legs of the series by a cumulative score of 22 points.
In the second game Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova had 14 points, Bulls forward Cameron Bairstow had 10, and Spurs guard Patty Mills added nine for Australia.
The Boomers are the third team to qualify for Rio. The USA qualified by winning the World Cup last summer in Spain. Brazil is in as the host nation.
Bogut has a long history of back (and other) injuries, which is why nobody should be shocked if the Warriors reach a contract extension with Festus Ezeli. They need to be thinking long-term about the center spot on their roster.
It is more impressive when New Zealand’s rugby team does it.
Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova – two guys who went hard just a couple of months back on opposite sides of the NBA Finals — stood arm-in-arm with Patty Mills and the rest of their Australian teammates and were unimpressed with the native Haka dance the All Blacks did before their match Saturday.
Australia and New Zealand are playing a two-game series for the championship of FIBA’s Oceana region — the winner qualifies for the 2016 Olympics (joining the USA and Brazil as locked in the 12-team tournament).
Dellavedova helped settle a nervous home Australian team down in the second quarter on his way to 15 points on the night. Mills was making plays late and had 17 for the game. Australia won 71-59.
Game 2 of the series is Tuesday in New Zealand and it is scored in aggregate — if Australia wins or loses by 11 points or fewer they will advance to the Olympics.
Hat tip Eye on Basketball.