The Warriors set payroll records last season – $176 million in salary, $170 million in luxury tax and $346 million in total payroll. Golden State’s costs project to be even higher next season.
But in 2023-24, the Warriors’ payroll could really skyrocket.
Jordan Poole will get a massive raise from his rookie-scale contract. An All-Star and valuable NBA Finals contributor, Andrew Wiggins could seek a raise from his rookie-scale max extension. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and James Wiseman have substantial raises built into their existing contracts.
Golden State owner Joe Lacob on the “TK Show“:
Your numbers are kind of messed up. I will just say that. You were throwing numbers out like 400 and 500.
Those numbers are not even remotely possible. It’s just not. I’m already in trouble with the rest of the league. We are in trouble for being where we are. In fact, in Vegas, I’ll be at – we’re going to be at – the Board of Governors meeting Tuesday. Let me tell you, they’re not happy. It’s not just us. Other teams are going into the luxury tax now, as well. We kind of blew a hole in the system, and it’s not a good look from the league’s perspective. They don’t want to see it happen. And there are limits. I’m not going to say what they are. But there are limits on what you can do.
That sounds like potential collusion.
Maybe Lacob was speaking somewhat in jest about how other teams complain when talking about being “in trouble” with the the rest of the league (though even that could veer toward collusion). Perhaps, the “limits” Lacob spoke of are only internal – not from the NBA. (Update: A Warriors spokesman said Lacob was referring to the team’s own budget.)
But the National Basketball Players Association could file a grievance. Gary Payton II and Otto Porter – who got lower offers to re-sign with Golden State than from other teams in free agency this year – could file grievances.
I doubt anything major comes from these comments. But the players’ union should at least state misgivings and look into whether there are actionable practices behind Lacob’s remarks.