Re-signing pending free agents Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to substantial, long-term contracts would have major financial implications for the Warriors – upward of $300MM per year, potentially – but franchise owner Joe Lacob doesn’t think luxury tax and salary costs are the issue heading forward, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic writes.
“We can do whatever we want [financially],” Lacob said. “And you should expect that that’s not going to be a reason this team … doesn’t stay great going forward. We have the capital to pay our players what they deserve. And we will.”
Kawakami notes that this is a change in tone from what we’ve heard from the team’s ownership group in the past. There may be several factors responsible for that, including the “unprecedented influx of cash” that the team’s new stadium is expected to bring. The Warriors will begin playing at the Chase Center next fall.
There’s more from the Bay Area tonight:
- The Warriors are in somewhat of a holding pattern until Durant makes his decision whether to remain with the franchise or move elsewhere, Kawakami notes in the above-mentioned article. These dynamics may have put Anthony Davis just out of reach for the team. “The best thing for us to do is keep our great players together as long as we can, as long as we should, and then develop on the margins,” Lacob said.
- With free agency looming and the Knicks posturing to be a major player, New York appears to at the very least be an option for Durant. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringers writes that the forward has wavered between staying or leaving all season.
- Since the blockbuster trade that freed up two max contract slots in the Knicks’ books last Thursday, Durant has been quieter than usual, Mark Medina of The Mercury News writes. Durant has avoided post-game interviews after each of Golden State’s last two matchups.