The NBA may be considering a move as a result of the Golden State Warriors accruing a record-breaking salary during their 2021–22 championship season and another enormous sum during their title defense season.
The NBA has proposed a hard salary ceiling limit, which would prevent clubs like the Warriors from amassing large payrolls as long as they are prepared to pay the tax bill, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA is considering a system that would replace the luxury tax with a hard limit that teams could not exceed to pay wages, sources said, in response to large-market rivals Golden State, Brooklyn, and the LA Clippers accruing big payrolls and luxury tax penalties.
If approved, the proposal will significantly affect the Warriors and result in the dissolution of its experienced core.
Warriors are the NBA’s Biggest Spenders
Golden State has produced two strong payroll seasons, and a third one could be on the horizon. Last season, the Warriors spent an NBA-record $345 million in total, including $175 million in player salaries and another $170 million in luxury tax payments. The Warriors’ projected luxury tax charge for this season is $170 million, according to Sportrac, bringing their overall cost to close to $359 million.
Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins’ new contracts will help the Warriors make a significant improvement next season. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, if the Warriors decide to give veteran player Draymond Green a contract extension, they may have to shell out close to $530 million.
The Warriors have regularly been the league’s highest spenders, as Micah Adams of The Sporting News reported during the NBA Finals last season.
“The Warriors spent over $200 million dollars more than the average NBA team on their roster this past season. And it’s nothing new,” Adams wrote. “This is the fourth time in five years they’ve led the NBA in total money spent on their roster. Over the last two seasons, they’ve spent $632 million on their roster including luxury tax payments. The only other team over that span to spend even $400 million is the Brooklyn Nets at $535 million.”
The Warriors would have to decide which of their pricey veterans to keep if the NBA’s new spending proposal were to be adopted, although Wojnarowski pointed out that there isn’t much movement for it right now.
According to his article, the NBPA “has met the league’s proposal with significant rejection, to the point that the union considers it a nonstarter in discussions.”
Warriors Hoping for Luxury Tax Relief
Warriors owner Joe Lacob has called for a system that would allow an exception for teams who give large contracts to home-grown players as the NBA is looking into a measure that might put a stop to the big spending period. Except for Andrew Wiggins, who was traded to the Warriors and had his career revived there, nearly all of Golden State’s key players were picked by the team.
Lacob discussed the gap on the Point Forward Podcast, which is hosted by Evan Turner and former Warriors player Andre Iguodala. Lacob expressed his displeasure with having to pay a significant luxury tax amount for players in remarks that would ultimately result in the NBA fining him $500,000 for them.
“The truth is, we’re only $40 million more than the luxury tax,” he said. “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.
“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.”