The Golden State Warriors will spend whatever it takes to keep their core together, going over the luxury tax in the process.
Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney: What do all five of these players have in common?
All are free agents for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and every last one of them claim they don’t want to go anywhere.
So, it’s up to Joe Lacob and the front office to ensure they keep the young stars by the Bay long-term. Doing so, however, will be far tougher than it seems.
Like most successful teams in this day and age, the Dubs spent a lot of money to acquire their championship. Sure, they drafted well — at least that’s how it started. But how this process almost always naturally ends is when some of those stars hit free agency, thus aging out of their rookie deals.
This makes the Warriors — who have won four titles with Steph Curry, Klay Thomspon and Draymond Green — the exception to the rule. But can they do it twice?
Warriors committed to keeping core together
Per the San Francisco Chronicle (subscription required), the Warriors will pay whatever it takes to keep this young core together.
While Curry, Thompson and Green remain the most important players on the roster for now, the next wave is starting to make their push into the rotation. You saw it in 2022, and it’s a large part why the Dubs were able to finish in the upper-echelon of the Western Conference during the regular season, and eventually win the chip.
Depth matters in the modern NBA. Top-heavy teams are entertaining, but almost always run out of gas. The likes of Poole, Wiggins and Looney, while not household names outside of San Francisco and the Bay Area, must be treated like such this offseason.
Poole and Wiggins want larger deals, so long-term extensions must be creative and negotiated well, as the Dubs cannot dish out money to everyone. Looney and Porter Jr., meanwhile, are arguably the most important free agents on Golden State’s roster due to their flexibility. Payton II stands out because of his defensive intensity.
It’s a delicate summer for the Warriors. They need to play their cards right.