The Golden State Warriors are the NBA champions once again, and now we turn to the offseason.
Golden State is in a specific quandary given many of their stars are either due for free agency or for an extension. That means a lot of cost is going to be associated with keeping the core of the team together. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala all have at least a couple years left on their contracts, but Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are in need of new deals.
The Warriors are already well over the cap, and they will be deep into the luxury tax no matter what kind of discounts they get on those players. Still, according to Warriors owner Joe Lacob, that won’t be a problem.
“All good things cost a lot,” he said simply. “We’re going to try to sign Klay and Draymond 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.
“We’ve proven that if we think we’re competing for a championship, we’ll be in the luxury tax. 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.”
The real problem for the Warriors is not the luxury tax itself, which seems like a necessary evil at this point given the dynasty that has formed in Oakland. The repeater tax, a penalty for being in the luxury tax multiple times during a certain period, is what will really put the brakes on Golden State.
As with many salary details, the repeater tax is sort of complicated but you can read about it here. Essentially, for certain tiers above the luxury tax, teams who qualify for the repeater will be charged a certain dollar amount multiplied by the amount of money in each tier they are over the luxury tax.
For example, the current repeater penalty for the tier ranging from $0 to $4,999,999 over the luxury tax is $2.50. So if a team was $4,000,000 into the luxury, they would pay an additional $10,000,000 in penalty ($4,000,000 x $2.50).
You have to be over the luxury tax three out of the prior four years to incur the repeater, and Golden State has only been in the tax for the 2017-18 season. That means they’d have until 2020-21 to figure something out, at which time it’s possible retirement or a trade of one of their players could factor as a way for them to duck the repeater.
Lacob is willing to spend, and it seems unlikely major elements of the Warriors are going elsewhere soon.