There isn’t trouble in paradise, but there could be soon.
That’s one of the takeaways for Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson’s latest Warriors breakdown in The Athletic, where they take a deep dive into the upcoming contract extensions for key players and how Joe Lacob will not be able to afford them all.
According to the reporting, if the Warriors were to offer max extensions to Draymond Green (free agent in 2024), Klay Thompson (FA in 2024), Andrew Wiggins (FA in 2023) and Jordan Poole (Restricted FA in 2023) this offseason, that would put their total payroll around $564 million, an untenable number for Lacob.
It seems that at least one of the aforementioned players will not be in line for a max extension. According to the piece, Draymond Green wants and feels he deserves one now, but the Warriors have no interest in doing that.
“All indications, though, are that the Warriors have no plans to offer Green a maximum extension, and there isn’t any current traction on any type of extension,” according to The Athletic. “The typical pattern of this Golden State front office is to extend with one year remaining. Even Stephen Curry waited until one year remained before signing his max extension last offseason. Green has two years remaining on the maximum extension he signed in 2019. While he could opt out a year earlier, the Warriors’ current preference is to talk extension with Green next summer.”
The most interesting tidbit in the piece is that Green is reportedly open to leaving the Warriors were they to offer him below the max, a decision that could complicate things for Golden State. In addition to losing their defensive anchor, they would risk alienating Stephen Curry, who has made clear he wants to play out his career with the Warriors alongside Green and Klay Thompson.
For now, it’s likely a decision Golden State will kick down the road and hope Green isn’t angered by that. Wiggins is the only player to hit unrestricted free agency next season, so he is the most likely to receive an extension soon. Poole would be the next most likely, but he is expected to turn down anything below the max before becoming an RFA next year.
There are a lot of moving parts, but it’s very likely the Warriors will have some very tough decisions to make next offseason.