Next up was Andrew Wiggins — he has agreed to a four-year, $109 million extension.
Officially official 📝 pic.twitter.com/FG7N7qkQNB
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 15, 2022
This extension is actually a pay cut for Wiggins, but it’s also more in line with his market value. Wiggins will make $33.6 million this season on the final year of the max extension he signed back with the Timberwolves, but his salary will drop to $24.3 million next season. It’s $26.3 million the next year and goes up with raises from there.
Wiggins earned this last playoffs — he was the Warriors’ second-best player through much of the postseason and the Finals. Out from under the pressure of being the former No.1 pick expected to carry a team, Wiggins averaged 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a game plus played strong perimeter defense throughout the postseason.
Now things get interesting for Golden State.
Team co-owner Joe Lacob has intimated that around $400 million in salary and luxury tax is as high as the Warriors can go, even with the cash cow that is the new Chase Center filling the team/owner coffers. With this extension, the Warriors will blow way past that mark in the 2023-24 season (the one after the season that starts Tuesday).
Golden St. payroll and tax penalty in 2023/24 will likely exceed $500M once the roster is filled.
That factors in Draymond Green opting-in to his $27.6M player option.
With 12 players
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 15, 2022
That $483 number from Marks includes Draymond Green picking up his 27.6 million player option for next season, but there would be more roster spots to fill that would bump the number up above half-a-billion. There’s a real question about whether Green will pick it up — and whether the Warriors really want him to.
Green was eligible for and wanted an extension from the Warriors but didn’t get it, and now everyone involved will have a decision to make.
If Green wants the money (or sees the money as a sign of respect), there are a lot of teams with cap space next summer. Maybe Green’s agent will find a deal that is a little bit of a one-year paycut but is more money guaranteed long-term (hypothetically, three years at $65 million). Green is an elite switchable defender who can guard 1-5, and on offense he is a gifted passer — Steve Kerr’s systems in Golden State have maximized those skills. But Green doesn’t fit as well on every team.
After Green threw a punch at Jordan Poole a lot of teams may back away from him in free agency, but it only takes one, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where some team doesn’t see Green as the missing piece to their contention for a title.
A lot will depend on how Green plays this season. Does his play once again lift the Warriors to (or very close to) an NBA title, reminding everyone the Warriors need him to win? Does his game slip a little while young stars like Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman step up, making the Warriors think they can move on and still contend? Do the Warriors evaluate this roster after the season and see other places they might make cuts?
The music will stop at some point and both Poole and now Wiggins have their chair. Draymond is still standing.