The Warriors are one of the best – and, maybe soon, most expensive – teams in NBA history. Every dollar matters as they wade deeper into the luxury tax. Roster spots are extremely valuable with quality ring-chasing veterans lining up to join Golden State.
So, there’s no room to exercise Kevon Looney‘s $2,227,081 team option for next season.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
If they venture as far into the luxury tax as they are this year, signing someone to the veteran minimum rather than keeping Looney would save the Warriors about $3 million. The actual savings would be far greater if Golden State’s spending goes deeper into the progressive luxury tax. Kevin Durant. Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, Omri Casspi, JaVale McGee, David West and Pat McCaw could all receive raises without triggering the hard cap. The Warriors could also sign its own first-round pick and use the taxpayer mid-level exception.
Looney fell to No. 30 in the 2015 draft amid injury concerns. The big man’s hips have continued to cause him problems since.
Golden State could still re-sign him next summer, but would be capped at a starting salary of $2,227,081 (what he would have earned if the fourth-year option on his rookie-scale contract were exercised). More likely, the 21-year-old either stays healthy this year and catches on elsewhere or suffers more hip problems and is a fringe NBA player entering 2018 training camp.