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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Warriors owner reveals team’s top offseason priority

Joe Lacob smiling

April 28, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob smiles against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors’ salary cap situation has not looked so golden of late. Team owner Joe Lacob is reportedly planning for a serious team overhaul to change that.

The Warriors have paid the most money in luxury tax penalties in NBA history since the tariff was implemented back in 2002.

Golden State will pay approximately $360 million in total salary plus luxury tax this season — a figure already significantly reduced by recent cost-cutting measures.

Lacob during his recent appearance on “The TK Show” called escaping the luxury tax the Warriors’ top priority for next season.

“Our Plan 1, or 1A, is that we’d like to be out of the tax, and we think that we have a way to do that. That kind of is the plan, not just under the second apron,” Lacob told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, via Sam Quinn of CBS Sports.

The “second apron” that Lacob is looking to avoid refers to the additional penalties baked into the new NBA collective bargaining agreement ratified last year. The new rules created massive handicaps for teams that remain excessively deep into the luxury tax, which the Warriors have been for several years now.

Lacob doesn’t just want to dodge the second apron. The Warriors owner wants complete freedom from the luxury tax, which could mean some serious restructuring within Golden State’s roster.

The Warriors appear headed for salary cap relief next season for the first time in years. The team’s $137 million in committed salaries would fall well below next year’s projected $172 million luxury tax mark.

However, next year’s cap figure still doesn’t include Klay Thompson and Chris Paul. The former is a free agent, while the latter’s $30 million cap hit is non-guaranteed. The team would also have to allot funds to potentially add depth to their aging roster.

Thompson, who has been cognizant of his decline on the court, would likely have to take a huge pay cut after making upwards of $43 million this season. Paul may not be back at all or would have to settle for a smaller deal if Lacob wants to stay under the tax.

There’s also the added wrinkle that Warriors youngster Jonathan Kuminga will be extension-eligible at the end of this season.

Golden State will have some key decisions to make at season’s end.

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