It feels like the end of a championship era is looming in the Bay Area. Bob Myer, the general manager and architect of the championship Warriors, is out. Stephen Curry is still one of the game’s elite players, but at age 35 how much longer will he be at that level? Draymond Green is 33 (and on a new $100 million contract extension), Klay Thompson also is 33 and has been slowed some by a couple of major injuries. To boost this group and make another run at a ring, the Warriors have brought in 38-year-old Chris Paul.
Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob talked about the future of the organization with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on his podcast, and that included asking about a potential Thompson contract extension (he will be a free agent in July, but he will have to take a healthy pay cut from the $42.3 million he will make this season).
“We’ve had some very brief discussions at this point with his agent. But they’re very, very early. … I fully expect that we’ll have some substantial discussions soon sometime and we’ll see if we can’t put something together that allows Klay to be here for a long time, which we clearly would like him to be.”
The same is true of finding a contract extension for Kerr, who is in the final year of his contract.
“We have started to talk with his people, again, same as kind of the Klay situation,” Lacob said. “Very early. There’s plenty of time. Steve is just like Klay, we want Steve to be here for a long time. Hall of Fame coach, we really value him. And I’m sure we’ll be able to work out something that’s fair to both sides.”
The Warriors have made their call sending out Jordan Poole and bringing in Chris Paul — they are all in on winning it this season (even if more than a few things need to break their way for that to happen). That is going to hit Lacob and his fellow Golden State owners in the pocketbook, he admitted the Warriors will be up against or eclipse the $400 million mark in payroll and luxury taxes this season (Spotac currently estimates the Warriors payroll plus luxury tax bill at $395.4 million). However, with CP3 in the final guaranteed year of his deal, Thompson possibly taking a pay cut, Andrew Wiggins taking a pay cut starting this year with his extension, and Poole’s
long-term deal off the books, Lacob suggested the Warriors should be able to get under the dreaded second tax apron for the 2024-25 season.
Lacob also admitted that he — like many fans and pundits — had to warm to the idea of adding Paul to the Warriors.
“Chris Paul, when I first heard that and thought about it, it was, like, really? Seems highly unlikely we would do that,” Lacob said. “But the more we thought about it, the more we considered our options, the more we realized he’s a great player, always has made other people better. He hasn’t won a championship, maybe he can do that with our group… We kind of warmed to that idea and the more we processed it the more we thought it really made sense — at least for the short-to-intermediate term.”
Lacob’s Warriors went all in and enter next season in the mix of title contention, our partner Bet MGM has them with the sixth-best odds to win the NBA title next season (+1200). Older players need to stay healthy, Thompson needs to take a step forward off his injuries, CP3 has to mesh with a team that plays a very different style, but the Warriors need to be considered in the mix.
The pivot is coming for this franchise, but the Warriors are focused on winning one more now and will deal with the rest of it down the line.