Warriors Projected To Spend $1.1 Billion On Salary, Taxes Over Next Five Seasons

The Warriors have built a dynasty, but if they plan on keeping this team together, it’ll come at a great cost, ESPN’s Bobby Marks writes.

The franchise is projected to spend over $1.1MM billion on salary and taxes through the 2020/21 campaign, a figure that includes $168MM in salary and taxes this season. One league executive told Marks that “finances are the only thing that will break up this Warriors team.”

The financial dominos begin this summer with Kevin Durant, who will yet again be a free agent if he turns down his player option as expected.

Marks breaks down Durant’s three main options as opting in ($26.3, one-year deal), opting out and signing another one-year deal (one-year, $30MM with another player option for year two), or opting out and signing a four-year pact for the max ($158MM with a starting salary of $35.4MM).

Golden State won’t have the ability to sign Durant to a five-year deal because the franchise only owns his Early Bird Rights. If he takes either of the one-year options, he’ll be eligible for a five-year deal in the 2019 offseason.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Early Bird Rights]

Durant took a discount to re-sign with the team this past offseason, though Marks believes it’s unlikely that he’ll take the same route again since the Warriors won’t be able to use the savings to add additional pieces.

Durant won’t get a Designated Veteran Extension. Every team is only permitted to sign two players to those super-max contracts and Golden State already locked up Curry through the 2021/22 season with one. Durant won’t be eligible for one of these deals since he came to the team as a free agent, which means the Warriors will have to decide whether to give their second DVE to Draymond Green or Klay Thompson.

Assuming Golden State saves the contract for Green and Thompson signs a traditional max deal, the Warriors could be facing a record-high $225MM in tax penalties for the 2019/20 season. That figure also assumes that Golden State brings back Patrick McCaw on a modest deal (Marks estimates $6MM salary in 2019/20).

As Marks notes, the league requires the payment in full – with no installment plan – for luxury tax charges, meaning Golden State’s ownership would have to send the full $225MM to the NBA in the late spring of 2020.

Golden State could shed salary by waiving Shaun Livingston, whose 2019/20 salary only contains $2MM in guarantees, and declining Damian Jones‘ fourth-year option, which is worth $2.3MM.

The Warriors are in a position unlike any other in NBA history both on the court and off of it. They’re the favorites to win the champion this season and it’s easy to envision them maintaining the Larry O’Brien trophy throughout the entire Donald Trump administration.

The costs of keeping the team together will be staggering, though it’s a problem opposing franchises would gladly accept if given the opportunity.

“There are 29 owners that would take this Warriors roster even if the cost was $495 million in luxury tax penalties,” a league executive told Marks.

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27 thoughts on “Warriors Projected To Spend $1.1 Billion On Salary, Taxes Over Next Five Seasons

  1. Thomas Swanson

    They’ll let Klay Thompson go. This is why the Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas. For Nerlens Noel, he’s taking advantage of his time on the bench and having thumb surgery, will be out for 3 weeks.

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    • rxbrgr

      You lost me on this comment. Klay-IT-Noel? How do they all relate?

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      • Thomas Swanson

        The Celts traded IT because they didn’t want to pay him the max and owe the luxury tax. The Warriors will be well in to the luxury tax if they keep Durant and Thompson. They have the highest team payroll this season. The Cavs are second and are estimated to owe $41 million in luxury tax (3rd time offenders). To keep IT and LeBron would be hard to do. The Cavs lost money last season because of tax. I think Noel could eventually end up with Cavs because he is only making $5 million this season and they have trade exemptions.

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      • Grant
        Grant

        They don’t. He is saying the Celtics traded IT to save money for a run at Thompson and that Noel will end up on the Cavs. Completely unrelated

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        • Thomas Swanson

          Danny Ainge didn’t want to pay IT the max because he’s too short and the worst defensive player in the NBA. No one else will sign him to max for same reason. I’ve watched every game of playoff series between Cavs and Warriors the last 3 years and saw the parade in Cleveland. Where do you get your info from?

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          • Thomas Swanson

            You are trolling. If you don’t want to read from the most reliable sources, don’t read it. Like you giving the Cavs roster, you got it out of an old book or magazine. If you’d been watching the games, you would have known it changed.

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  2. Thomas Swanson

    Did the Warriors new arena open this year, or is it next? I read the Warriors winning the championships helps their finances. They made money last season. Thompson has said he’d take paycut to stay.

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  3. jt3z

    So they’re gonna win the championship for 8 straight years? ;)

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  4. taquinas16

    The NUMBER 1 goal for a sports team is to make money, the tax penalties will eventually prevent the Warriors from making enough, which will lead to the team breaking up. It’s just not economically viable. They will get 2+ championships out of this dynasty though, so they accomplished great things.

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    • CobiEven

      How do you know the revenue of the GSW? You don’t. The tax penalty is obviously an expense they can afford now. The new arena will print more money.

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  5. Dodgethis

    So they will be the favorites for to win for the next 7 years? I’m liking it.

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  6. Cara Steen

    Trump has maybe one year left, hope W’s winning lasts much longer.

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  7. Thomas Swanson

    They are related. It has to do with Cavs and Warriors. I watch every Cavs game and see the local news every day. I am aware of what’s going on. I follow the Celtics every day too because I grew up near Indianapolis, and Brad Stevens is from Butler University. Thompson and Kyrie’s contracts expire together. No way will Ainge keep Horford, Hayward, Kyrie, and Thompson. Noel fits with Cavs because if anyone can straighten him up, LeBron can. Jordan won’t happen.

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  8. Thomas Swanson

    Dear Grant, I’m sorry if you don’t like me. I’m 60 years old and retired. I’ve been a sports enthusiast for a very long time. I’m retired so I spend a lot of time on sports news. I live college football and basketball, and pro football and basketball. I follow Hoops Football and Basketball and Basketball Insiders because they are knowledgeable. Anything I say comes from games, ESPN, Basketball Insiders, Fox, Sports Illustrated, Indianapolis Star, Cleveland.com, etc. so everything is up to date. HoopsRumors is very helpful with salary cap issues, team salaries, exceptions, etc. I’ve always been an armchair general manager so ESPN Trade Machine is nice. I’m not big on LeBron, but do want to see Cavs beat Warriors, but prefer Celts because of where I come from. I am very knowledgeable because I follow the media “daily.” Thank you HoopsRumors for your reporting. I’ll watch a Cavs game, and you’ll have up to date news right after the game!!!!

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    • Thomas Swanson

      I lived in Indianapolis the entire time Peyton Manning was there. I met him! Manning is my all-time favorite athlete. I compare athletes to him. Peyton is all about being class!

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Since the draft, free agency, and trade deadline all go together, I wish HoopsRumors would set up weekly or biweekly way to early mock drafts like CBS Sportsline does! They would be good at it!

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        • Thomas Swanson

          Would like to see football draft too. If Hoops Rumors (Pro Football Rumors) wants a good Indianapolis Colts site, try Stampede Blue! It said the Colts should move Anthony Castanzo to tight end and try to sign Laveon Bell this summer. They are entertaining!

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        • Thomas Swanson

          Would also like HoopsRumors have college basketball freshman watch like CBS Sports is doing right now. Oklahoma freshman Trae Young is best so far, with Marvin Bagley and Deandre Ayton following!

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      • Thomas Swanson

        The difference between Peyton and LeBron is their egos. Peyton is all about everyone around him and LeBron is all about LeBron!

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        • Thomas Swanson

          Watching saints-Falcons. Attended Purdue-Indiana football game when Boilermakers clinched Rose Bowl with Drew Brees at quarterback. Like Peyton he is all about everyone around him. He will always be Purdue’s favorite son and still attends game. Says his favorite memory is fans storming the field 4 times his senior year. I was there all 4 games (Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and IU). Will never happen again!

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          • Thomas Swanson

            Ironic Saints only Superbowl win is with Bree at qb against Peyton and the Colts. They both had Indiana ties!!

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  9. Thomas Swanson

    For NFL Rumors: Alvin Kamara is out with concussion!

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