4-Time Warriors Champion Projected Massive Pay Cut Just to Stay

Sep 12, 2022

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NBA PLAYERS devastated but adamant – Even though the Golden State Warriors are one of the most expensive NBA teams, they cannot afford to provide all of their athletes the highest possible salaries. 

Apart from the very real possibility that the Dubs will have to part ways with either Jordan Poole or Andrew Wiggins next offseason, at least one of Klay Thompson or Draymond Green is likely going to have to accept a significant pay cut from what they would otherwise earn if the team hopes to keep the rest of its core together.

Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors celebrate a three-pointer made against the Utah Jazz.

The overall value of Steph Curry’s contract, which is for the next four years, is almost $215 million. Green can choose not to sign his contract’s final year next summer, forgoing more than $27 million in the process, and demand the highest possible offer. Thompson remains under contract for the next two seasons at annual salaries of more than $40 million and $43 million, respectively. 

Thompson is in a worse position than Green just due to the timing of their respective free agents. Beyond that, Thompson, however, is more inclined to accept a bargain than Green. Given his recent contract history with the team, Thompson has even more reason to believe that the Warriors will eventually pay him back in some way.

Meanwhile, Klay Thompson’s two lost seasons have cost the Warriors a fortune.

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors warms up before his comeback game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 9, 2022.

NBA sports experts suggest that given the franchise’s dedication to Thompson thus far in his career, Thompson is far more likely to accept a wage cut.

“It’s really hard to say [if Thompson or Green will take pay cuts], because we don’t know how they’ll look when they become free agents. Klay Thompson still has two years left on his deal. Draymond Green has one year, with an option for a second year. Will they be All-NBA talents on a championship team when they hit free agency? Or will they be sentimental fan favorites on a team transitioning to their next era?

Either way, [Thompson] is much, much more likely to take a big pay cut than [Green], and not just because of the reports that Green is seeking a max contract and willing to go outside the organization to find it. First, Thompson has more room to take a pay cut than Green does. … Second and more importantly, Thompson’s recent contract has taken great care of him.”

– Brady Klopfer of SB Nation on Wednesday, said last Wednesday, September 7

Just a few weeks after Thompson suffered an ACL injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors signed him to a five-year contract worth just under $190 million. 

Given that he tore his Achilles tendon as his ACL recovery was about to be completed, Thompson was able to earn the first half of that deal without ever taking part in a regular season game. This led to a two-and-a-half-year absence from the field.

Warriors title contenders may continue for years thanks to Thompson’s sacrifice. This based on critics applauding the painful but necessary move by the seasoned basketball pro.

The Golden State Warriors, led by Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, celebrate winning their fourth NBA championship in June 2022. 

This season, Thompson, Green, and Curry will all turn 33 years old, while Curry will reach 35. Although it may not seem like the finest plan for long-term success, locking all three of them down until their late 30s is not a completely horrible one either.

Curry won the first MVP award of his career for the NBA Finals in June after playing at an MVP level for the majority of the first half of the season. Due to the increased player movement in the contemporary game, Green is still perhaps the finest defender in the league and he and Curry have an on-court chemistry that is uncommon. 

After recovering from two severe injuries, Thompson occasionally appeared to be moving more slowly, but he continues to be the clutch shooter he has always been and the ideal offensive backcourt partner for Curry. The Warriors should challenge for their fifth championship in nine seasons next season if Thompson makes a significant step toward regaining his pre-injury form.

The Dubs are well-positioned for the future if you add Kevon Looney to the mix for at least the next three years and either Poole or Wiggins on a free agency contract next summer. 

It goes without saying that the Warriors have one of the best young talent pools in the NBA, led by second-year players Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, third-year big man James Wiseman, who is returning from injury, and third-year big man James Wiseman.

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