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Bob Myers discusses Warriors’ payroll limits, options with No. 28 pick

© Kyle Terada | 2022 Jun 1

It might seem like the Warriors are working with an unlimited budget.

Their $350 million payroll plus taxes dwarfed the rest of the league, and only stands to get bigger if they sign their upcoming free agents and extend Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole this offseason.

But the budget is not unlimited. General manager Bob Myers explained as much in his end of season presser on Wednesday. He doesn’t know how high owner Joe Lacob is willing to go — 400 million? 500 million? — but he knows there is a limit, and much of Lacob’s willingness to spend is determined by what he thinks about the Dubs’ championship window.

Myers:

I didn’t think it would be where it is, to be honest. I will go to Joe like I do every year and offer, you know, this is what it’s going to take to sign this guy.

We’ve blown through kind of these budget thresholds before. It doesn’t mean we’ll do it again. It’s pretty case specific.

It wasn’t public, but when we had this roster, Joe said this roster — paying this much money doesn’t make sense if we don’t think we can win a championship. He said that before the season.

He said that during the season, and as you all know, there was many times where this team did not look like a championship team.

But the pressure I felt, I guess, in the front office was if we spend this much money and lose in the first round, that would be pretty catastrophic.

Fans don’t have to care about that part too much, but the only way paying that much money made sense was to think that we could make it this far. Again, there’s so many things that go into winning a championship.

The same idea would have to take place and take root for next season. If we felt like it could be a championship team, then you do kind of go all in with all your chips. If we didn’t, we’d probably hold back.

But the payroll is already, as you know, the highest in the league. It’s pretty — second place isn’t that close. That’ll change over time, but Joe has always wanted to win.

But last year we didn’t spend the tax payer mid-level and ended up signing some minimums that worked out. So it’s just dependent on if we think we can get value in free agency for some of these guys. We’re not just going to spend to spend. We didn’t do that last year.

People may think we do that, but a lot of our players have been here and have been paid. We have — the larger money contracts, I think is there’s only five of them, four of them I suppose now, that aren’t rookie scale.

So we don’t have a ton of players. It’s all in the group of four for the most part.

We’ll look and see what we can do and I’ll ask Joe what he would authorize, but there is a limit. It’s not limitless. I would like it to be limitless, but trust me, it’s not. You’ve got to have some constraints on a salary.

This of course leads to a whole host of other questions, beginning with the unrestricted free agency of Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney. All three have expressed a desire to stay. Myers says that’s a good sign, but that much of retaining all three is largely out of their hands.

If the players are offered lucrative deals, Golden State may not be able to match.

“We’ll try on all those guys,” Myers said. “All these guys were great.

“Free agency, unrestricted especially, is not something — it is in our control to a certain extent, but in some ways it’s not. When I was an agent I felt like I probably had more control than a team because I had more information, I knew what the market was.

“I don’t know what the market is for a lot of these guys, nor will I. Sometimes you find out with a Woj tweet that a guy is gone.

“Thankfully I hope that our players will give us a chance to respond to an offer. They don’t have to. They don’t owe it to us. But that’s what you get if you win and you create a good environment. You might get a chance to match something, although they don’t owe it to us, and we’ll have to react.

“But sometimes the money doesn’t line up for us or them, and then you move on. But our goal, our hope, is to bring all those guys back and try to do it again. They were all great in different ways and all fill different needs for us and all played — a lot of our free agents had big moments in the NBA Finals, which means they’re pretty important.”

Finally, there’s the question of the No. 28 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and if the Warriors will have room or money for another young player. Myers believes if the player is right fit they will, and that the cap will not constrain them in making the selection. He also hinted that Golden State is likely to have a number of roster spots, meaning that signing all of their unrestricted players is something he isn’t planning on happening.

“I don’t think the money is going to be a factor as far as whether we trade out or keep the pick,” Myers said. “It’ll be if it makes sense, so it won’t really be a money decision. We’ve got like 15, 20 people up on the ninth floor right now watching film and getting the draft order and getting our board aligned.

“So we’ll be ready. Like I said, we’ve been in this position before. But you get a guy like Poole it shows you valuable is it to get it right. We don’t get it right every time. We have had some guys that haven’t worked out.

“We have a lot of free agents, and so we probably will have roster spots. We’ll see what a lot of those guys end up doing, whether they come back or leave. But we feel like if we get a guy — depends on who we draft. That’s the advantage of I guess having the draft before free agency, to see what our needs might be, who we take, how ready that person is or not.

“But like last year we always thought we could fill some of the experience gap in free agency. It’s easier to get older guys in free agency and there’s more available than youth.

“If we end up drafting and keeping it, we’ll look to free agency again to kind of fill that experience void.”

 

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