Salary cap Rumors
Even if the Warriors decide to move these players, they are limited in the amount of incoming salary they can bring back. For example, Wiseman, the highest earner of their recent first-round picks at $9.6 million, can get back up to $12.1 million in a trade. There could be some difference-makers earning that much or less but most of the players the Warriors could use are probably making more. The idea that the Warriors may need to combine these players further complicates any potential deal.
One other issue to consider is their luxury tax situation. They currently have $190.5 million in payroll and $176.5 million in luxury tax penalties. It’s unclear how much the Warriors would want to increase their expenses, if at all. They’ve gone into the season with an open roster spot for that reason. For example, increasing their payroll by $5 million in a trade would raise their luxury tax penalties by nearly $34 million. With all these factors in mind, they’re probably much better off being patient and continuing to develop their guys.
“I think the Lakers are going to ride it out for a while,” one GM who’s been working the phones told Heavy Sports. “I don’t know what else they can do. They have to consider the fact they’re going to have a lot of salary cap space coming up, and do they really want to take that away by spending now on a team that isn’t going anywhere?
“I’ve heard the names that are being thrown around, but I don’t see anything that’s going to give them a real chance at winning anything. They’re better off letting Russell (Westbrook)’s $47 million come off the books and seeing where they are then. If they were to find someone to take him now, they’d have to be taking on salary that will push into next year and probably beyond. That’s just sticking them in the mud for more years. The important thing is getting out of the mud, not looking slightly better while you’re in it.”
Among the other top priorities in collective bargaining talks for the league, sources said: • Finding mechanisms to incentivize top players participating in more regular season games, creating crisper competition and greater value in the league’s media rights deals. • Working on a “smoothing” plan to incrementally add in the windfall escalation of revenue in the league’s looming media deal, which would avoid a repeat of the cap spike in 2016 that disproportionally rewarded one class of free agents and selected teams. • To end the “One-and-Done” early entry rule and allow high school players back into the NBA Draft, the league wants a requirement that player agents can no longer pick and choose the teams with whom they supply prospects physicals and medical information. The NBA also wants some minimal requirements around presence and participation in the draft combine.
The financial commitment to keep the core of the Warriors’ 2022 NBA championship team together is massive, with the payroll and luxury tax for the 2023-24 season looming at an unprecedented $483 million. “I know what the numbers are. … I cannot evaluate what we are going to do next season until we see what happens this season,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a news conference Sunday. “I just know this: There’s a huge commitment to winning. There always has been, and I believe there always will be. I am lucky to be in an [ownership] group that believes that. Their actions prove it.”