Warriors Likely To Pay Tax, Keep Kent Bazemore

January 4 2013 at 7:36pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Warriors aren't desperate to get under the tax threshold this season, and they probably won't let go of Kent Bazemore and his partially guaranteed contract before the deal becomes fully guaranteed on Thursday, a source tells Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group. Letting go of Bazemore, who has a meager $25K guarantee on his minimum-salary deal, wouldn't get the Warriors under the $70.307MM tax threshold, as Thompson points out. That's because the Warriors are more than $900K over and Bazemore is only owed $300K for the rest of the season.

The Warriors believe the 6'5" Bazemore, who went undrafted out of Old Dominion last summer, has a future in the league, according to Thompson's source, so the benefits of keeping him outweigh the dollar-for-dollar tax penalty. It also means the Warriors haven't changed their stance on the merits of Bazemore versus Dominic McGuire since November, when Thompson reported they weren't interested in waiving Bazemore to bring aboard McGuire, who was a part of Golden State's rotation last year. McGuire was waived by the Hornets today, but the Warriors can't add him or anyone else without cutting someone, since they're at the 15-man roster limit.

Golden State is in the rare position of having more money on the books for next season than it does for this one. The team is set to come in slightly over the tax apron for 2013/14, which is a line $4MM above the tax threshold. Teams above the apron have limited flexibility, as Thompson details. The precise threshold for next season won't be defined until July, so there's a chance the Warriors could keep all of their commitments for next season and still wind up below the apron. At that point, they could revisit the idea of keeping Bazemore, since the next season on his deal also comes without a full guarantee.

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