Warriors could save $48 million with David Lee-Gerald Wallace trade


The Warriors agreed to trade David Lee to the Celtics for Gerald Wallace.

The deal is essentially a salary dump for Golden State. Lee lost his starting job and most of his playing time. Wallace, who turns 33 this summer, looks done as a functional NBA player.

Just how much will the Warriors save?

It’s far more than the difference in salaries between Lee ($15,493,680) and Wallace ($10,105,855). That’s because Golden State projects to be far above the progressive luxury tax.

Let’s start with a few reasonable assumptions:

The Warriors could save even more if they stretch Wallace, which would spread his remaining salary evenly over twice the remaining years plus one (three).

On one hand, stretching Wallace makes sense for owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob financially. Golden State is almost guaranteed to pay the tax next season, but with the salary cap and luxury-tax lines skyrocketing in coming years, it’s unlikely for the following seasons.

On the other hand, stretching Wallace wouldn’t give the Warriors any more immediate roster-building flexibility. Plus, that would close the opportunity to use his salary in a trade. If they stretch him, he’d also eat into their potential cap room in 2016 – when they reportedly plan to pursue Kevin Durant – and 2017.

Here’s Golden State’s outlook before the trade, after the trade and if they use the stretch provision on Wallace:


  • Salary: $104,896,878
  • Luxury tax: $52,113,291
  • Total: $157,010,169


  • Salary: $99,509,053
  • Luxury tax: $33,654,421
  • Total: $133,163,474

With stretch

  • Salary: $92,771,816
  • Luxury tax: $15,850,678
  • Total: $108,622,494

That’s a saving of about $24 million with the trade. By stretching Wallace, Golden State could increase those savings to about $48 million this season. (Wallace would still make $3,368,618 each of the next two seasons).

The luxury tax is determined on the last day of the regular season, so the Warriors still have a chance to adjust their payroll. But they positioned themselves today to save a lot of money.

Report: Boston Celtics agree to trade for David Lee for Gerald Wallace


David Lee played an important role for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, but he was not part of their long-term plans and spent much of the season on the bench. After they had hoisted the trophy, Warriors management appreciated Lee’s taking of a lesser role, and agreed with Lee that they would try to find him a new home for next season .

Like Boston.

The Celtics and Warriors agreed to a deal that sends Lee east and brings Gerald Wallace West. Tommy Dee was first to report this, and it has since been confirmed by CSNBayArea.com’s Monte Poole.

Boston needs to send another player west to make the money work; that player has not been finalized but he will not be on a guaranteed deal.

For Boston, this is a good fit. They can play David Lee this year sort of in the Brandon Bass role (Bass signed with the Lakers). Lee is better offensively, even at this point in career, but a step back on defense from Bass. Maybe a couple steps back. Still he can put up points and should mesh well with their young talent.

The Warriors can keep Wallace and save some money, or trade him, but look for Golden State to use the stretch provision to buy Wallace out of his deal. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks laid out why that would help Golden State against the luxury tax (which with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s deal was going to get expensive).

Lee took to Instagram to thank the Golden State fans.

Report: Warriors trying to trade up in NBA Draft


Fresh off of an historically great season where the Warriors won the NBA championship, they aren’t a team that exactly has a lot of pressing needs.

It made sense, then, to attempt to avoid paying a guaranteed salary next season to someone who wouldn’t be all that likely to contribute after being selected with the 30th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, by dangling that pick in trade to help shed David Lee’s contract from the books.

But a newer report has Golden State potentially looking to trade up now, which must mean the team has its eyes on a particular prospect.

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com:

Interesting development heading toward Thursday night: I’m hearing the Warriors are exploring the possibility of trading UP. Target unknown.

I would have thought GSWs would try to trade out of the 1st to save money or use a 1st-rounder to get someone to take David Lee.

The Warriors need to dump Lee; he’ll cost the team nearly $50 million in salary and luxury tax if he remains on the roster next season. And since his salary alone is right around $15.5 million, it would appear as though Golden State would need to add something favorable to a deal (like, you know, a late first round pick) in order to get another team to take Lee off of its hands.

It’s also unclear what the Warriors would be willing to offer in trade to move up the draft board. Is there a team that would potentially favor Lee over a draft pick, say, in the late teens? The likelihood seems slim, but then again, Golden State surprised us all by winning a title this year, so I suppose anything is possible.

Report: Warriors wiling to trade No. 30 pick, but no more, to dump David Lee


The Warriors and David Lee are working together on a trade.

Golden State wants to shed Lee’s $15,493,680 salary for next season, and Lee wants to play for a team that will give an expanded role.

But with his high salary, the 32-year-old Lee probably has negative value. In other words, I doubt any team would just take him if given the opportunity.

So, the Warriors will have to offer more enticement. How much are they willing to surrender?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

the Warriors are trawling for someone to take David Lee, with the 30th pick as a potential sweetener, per sources around the league.

The Warriors almost certainly won’t sacrifice two picks for that financial relief, per league sources.

As Lowe details, the Warriors made a ton of money during their championship run. And this is only a one-year problem. Once Lee’s contract expires and the salary cap skyrockets in 2016, Golden State will be clear of major luxury-tax concerns.

But the effects of keeping Lee next season are significant. He projects to cost the Warriors nearly $50 million in salary and luxury tax. They might prefer to send out only the No. 30 pick, but if push comes to shove, I wouldn’t be surprised if they improve their offers.

Draymond Green celebrates title with one massive bottle of champagne


If you’ve put up a triple-double in an NBA championship deciding game, you deserve to celebrate with a 15-litre bottle of champagne.

So you go, Draymond Green.

David Lee and Festus Ezeli also were in on this, I mean you can’t expect Green to finish that by himself.

This may be becoming a thing, Dirk Nowitzki was doing this back in 2011.

(Hat tip to the fantastic Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie.)