Top Stories

Joe Lacob Rumors

Before his $500,000 fine for describing the NBA’s current luxury tax system as “incredibly penal” and “very unfair” on the Point Forward Podcast hosted by Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, Warriors owner Joe Lacob made the argument directly to fellow team owners at the recent Board of Governors session during summer league in Las Vegas that tax penalties should be reduced when teams re-sign players they drafted, league sources say. Three of Golden State’s four highest-paid players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) are Warriors draftees who have only played for one team. Because of the “repeater tax,” Golden State was charged $170 million in luxury tax alone last season and thus spent more than $340 million in salary and tax in winning the club’s fourth championship in eight seasons. Boston, beaten by the Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals, spent nearly $140 million in salary and tax in 2021-22.
Aside from Andrew Wiggins and free agents signed to veteran minimum contracts last summer, the Warriors were a team full of players they drafted and developed. And it’s for that reason that Lacob isn’t a fan of the current luxury tax situation implemented by the league. “The hardest thing of all is navigating this luxury tax, unfortunately,” Lacob said to Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner on the last episode of their “Point Forward” podcast. “I went back to New York this week for labor meetings. I’m on the committee. And you know, obviously, the league wants everyone to have a chance and right now, there’s a certain element out there that believes we “checkbook win,” we won because we have the most salaries on our team.”
Joe Lacob: “The truth is, we’re only $40 million more than the luxury tax. Now, that’s not small but it’s not a massive number. We’re $200 million over in total because most of that is this incredible penal luxury tax. And what I consider to be unfair and I’m going to say it on this podcast and I hope it gets back to whoever is listening … and obviously it’s self-serving for me to say this, but I think it’s a very unfair system because our team is built by — all top eight players are all drafted by this team.”
“I understand why they got mad at us for the Durant thing but anyone else would have done it too, if you want to go there,” Lacob said. “That’s the truth. And this one, I don’t know how they could be mad because we’re homegrown. And I think the luxury tax, you should be paying a high luxury tax if you’re using it to go get free agents and outspend your competition. But if you’re developing your own guys and paying Steph Curry what he deserves and Klay Thompson what he’s earned, why am I paying $200 million in luxury tax? I don’t think that’s fair.”
Iguodala has stayed notably mum about retirement since the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics to win a fourth title in eight seasons last month. But on the most recent episode of the Point Forward, the podcast Iguodala hosts with Evan Turner, Golden State owner Joe Lacob tried his best at forcing the veteran into tipping his hand: Lacob: “So, are you coming back next year?” Iguodala: “Y’all want me to come back?” Turner: “Dre says he wants $28 million!” Lacob: “That he’s not getting, I can assure you…I gotta pay all these young guys, man!”
Lacob did expand on why why Golden State would welcome the oft-injured 38-year-old reserve back to The Bay with open arms, though: “By the way, this guy didn’t play very much I’m looking at on my screen, Andre here. But I think you had a huge impact,” he said. “That does not go without notice. Huge impact. I watch you on the sidelines, I watch you in the locker room, and that was part of our strategy, too, to get you back.”