The Warriors will pay about $170 million in luxury tax this year – an NBA record by about $73 million.
And that’s with Jordan Poole making just $2,161,440 on his relatively cheap rookie-scale contract.
Poole will be eligible this offseason for a lucrative contract extension that’d take effect in 2023. That season, Stephen Curry will likely still be the NBA’s highest-paid player with a salary of $51,915,615. Klay Thompson will be due $43,219,440 on the final year of his max deal. Draymond Green holds a $27,586,225 player option. Even James Wiseman, as the No. 2 pick after the NBA increased rookie-scale salaries, is set to earn $12,119,440.
Where does that leave Poole?
Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers cut off the question before it could be finished, flatly saying “no” when asked by Yahoo Sports if financial concerns would keep the franchise from keeping one of its youngest, most productive players.
“No, no,” Myers told Yahoo Sports. “I mean, thankfully [I] work for an ownership group in Joe [Lacob] that has committed all kinds of resources to winning. And I know that because every time I asked him about roster and strategy, it’s always winning.”
“You don’t need me to tell you what our payroll is. It’s pretty high,” Myers told Yahoo Sports. “So he just wants to win. And we’ve spent a lot and we’ve kept all the players we want to keep, so I don’t see that changing.”
The Warriors have certainly earned benefit of the doubt with their spending. Their mammoth revenues will continue if the team keeps hosting playoff games in that new arena.
Poole has proven he can help with that.
Many people think Golden State will choose between Wiggins and Poole. But both are productive contributors. If losing Wiggins to keep Poole, Myers’ answer wouldn’t be accurate.
So, maybe the Warriors will keep both players and pay an exorbitant luxury tax.
One other factor: Player salaries/salary cap/luxury-tax line could skyrocket in 2025. So, like deals signed before the 2016 cap spike, long-term contracts signed in the next couple years could prove to be quite team-friendly as the NBA’s financial landscape changes.
Still, there a couple seasons before 2025 where Golden State’s spending limits will be even further tested.