State of the Union
The Golden State Warriors are coming off of a 15-50 season, which was the worst record in the league. The Warriors are coming off of a gap year, after having made 5 straight Finals. With their big three of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green missing a combined 147 games, the season was basically a throwaway. The team was able to tank and ended up with the 2nd pick in the upcoming draft and flipped D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins and a future first.
The team enters the 2020/2021 season with much bigger aspirations than last season. With the big three coming back, the team should be back in the playoff hunt. Curry, Thompson, Green should all be rested and have a lot to prove. The rest of the roster, however, is where the issues are. The starting lineup is rounded out by a max contract Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney. The bench, as it currently stands, is in shambles with the only players under contract being Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Alen Smailagic, Damion Lee and Ky Bowman. If the team wants a realistic shot at a title chance, they need to seriously overhaul their bench.
The biggest decision facing the Warriors this offseason is what to do with the 2nd overall pick in the upcoming draft. Should they flip the pick in a win now trade, or take a cornerstone player that could be the face of the future in the Bay area? The team has serious depth issues and is built to win now. Ultimately, this could push the team into flipping the pick for one or more role players that can help the team contend.
One sneaky issue that could hamper the Warriors ability to make moves this summer is the luxury tax. As the roster currently sits and assuming no change in the luxury tax line year over year, the team is slated for a luxury tax bill over $70 million dollars. If the Warriors were to flip the second overall pick plus Andre Iguodala’s traded player exception for a player or players while also using the tax payers mid level exception, that tax bill could balloon to over $130 million. That would mean paying over $260,000,000 for this roster. With no fans in the arena next year, revenues could take a steep drop and there could be questions about ownerships ability to afford such a tax bill.
Salary Cap Analysis
-Current Cap Room: ($45,070,426)
-Max Cap Room: ($43,307,630)
-Projected Cap Room: ($45,070,426)
-Path to a Max: Impossible
-Best Contract on the Books: Steph Curry. Multiple time MVP/Champ under contract for multiple years. No brainer.
-Worst Contract on the Books: Andrew Wiggins. The team was compensated to take the contract and Wiggins has clearly not lived up to the money. Not by a long shot. We will see if playing with the best backcourt in the league can help him turn it around, if he is still in Golden State.
-Potential Offseason Targets: Kelly Oubre, DJ Augustin, Wesley Matthews, Robert Covington, Rudy Gay
The Big Question(s)
What are the Golden State Warriors going to do with their 2nd overall draft pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft? This is one of the major questions that are looming over the league. Consensus seems to be that the Warriors almost have to move the pick in a win now trade. But what deals are out there that the team could do worthy of moving the second overall pick using the $17.2 million traded player exception? Some hypotheticals could be:
-Kelly Oubre and the 10th overall pick
-Rudy Gay and the 11th overall pick
-Thaddeus Young or Tomas Satoransky and the 4th overall pick
-Derrick Rose and the 7th overall pick
These deals all net them a good rotation player and another draft asset, but are they enough to move off of the 2nd overall pick? The team could instead choose to draft a player that could be a building block for the future of the franchise, such as Lamelo Ball or James Wiseman. But could these players be able to contribute on day one on a championship contending team? Wiseman perhaps, but Ball is not as likely.
Another question facing the Warriors is their ability to pay the luxury tax. Will ownership be willing to open the pocketbook and shell out a tax bill north of $100 million to be able to really compete for a chance at the title? Or, with the likelihood of no fans in the arenas for games, will the drastic decrease in forecasted revenues cause ownership to cheap out, being content with their 3 titles in the previous 6 years.
Asset Allocation Grades (Excluding Draft Picks)
-Steph Curry 2 years $89 million
-Klay Thompson 4 year $157 million
-Andre Iguodala TPE of $17.2 million
-Eric Paschall 2 year $3.3 million
-Kevon Looney 2 year $10 million PO in second year
-Draymond Green 4 year $100 million PO in fourth year
-Damion Lee two year $3.7 million
-Ky Bowman 2 year $3.3 million
-Alen Smailagic 2 year $3.3 million
-Jordan Poole 3 year $8.1 million TO in year 2 and 3
-Andrew Wiggins 3 year $94.7 million
-2nd Pick: LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Deni Advija
-48th and 51st Pick: Killian Tillie, Vernon Carey, Payton Pritchard, Grant Riller, Jay Scrubb, Paul Reed
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Nick Thoreson is a young professional working in finance who is passionate about the NBA and especially all things salary cap related.