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Monday, September 16, 2019

Warriors could rack up $1.2 billion with luxury taxes over next four years

Kevin Durant Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors want to keep their championship core together for years to come, but is the ownership group willing to spend to more than $1 billion in salary and luxury taxes to make that happen?

In the NBA, the Bird exception allows teams to exceed the salary cap limit to re-sign their own players. The Warriors, who recently agreed to sign Stephen Curry to a five-year, $201 million deal, are already well over the cap limit. They are expected to exceed the salary cap by about $40 million for the 2017-2018 season, which will lead to a hefty luxury tax bill.

However, the bill for the upcoming season will be nothing compared to the bills two, three and four years from now if Golden State intends to keep Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. ESPN’s Bobby Marks estimates that the Warriors would have to pay $1.2 billion in total over that span, with a luxury tax of $222.7 million for the 2020-2021 season alone.

That may not be feasible. The Warriors want to win multiple championships with their current core, but when does the cost become too great?

Thompson is scheduled to become a free agent following the 2018-2019 season, and he could be the odd man out. There have already been rumblings about him potentially joining other star players with other teams, and that may end up happening.

Durant is not going anywhere unless he chooses to, and Draymond Green is the reining NBA Defensive Player of the Year. His contract is a bargain and runs through the 2019-2020 season.

No matter how much money they make with their star-studded super-team, it’s tough to imagine the Warriors paying that much in luxury taxes.

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