The Golden State Warriors, specifically Steve Kerr, understands that everything must come to an end at some point. According to Brain Rauf of Chat Sports, the Warriors coach knows his team’s run has a year or so left. The Warriors have been able to hold it off thanks to Kevin Durant taking less money but will Klay Thompson do the same?
Thompson will become a free agent in 2019 and while he’s making $17 million in his current deal, Thompson will more than likely demand a max contract. The Warriors will have to make a decision regarding what to do with the other half of the “Splash Brothers.”
What also complicates matters is that Durant, Zaza, and Jordan Bell will be free agents in 2019 and Draymond Green will be a free agent as well in 2020. The Warriors must decide how much championships are worth? Let’s say they wanted to keep their core together in 2019. That will leave the Warriors paying Curry $40 million, Thompson $25 million (depending on what he agrees to), Durant $25 million (if he agrees to another discount), and then Green $18 million. That’s more than $108 million for four players and they still have to find a center and must manage their bench.
This is what winning does, and Kerr said it best when he explained how this will all play out.
“You can’t just expect players to take less money so we can keep this thing going. That’s totally unfair to ask players to do that,” Kerr said.
“So you have to work within the confines of the salary cap and the structure. The big thing is we have an ownership group that is 100 percent committed to winning. They are going to spend every dollar we need to keep us competitive, and we have great resources.”
There have also been rumors that the Warriors would love to package Thompson and Green in a trade to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. The money will work but will there be chemistry? Davis is on the books for close to $80 million over the next three seasons. A new core of Curry, Durant, and Davis is still championship capable but losing their best defensive player in Green and second best shooter in Thompson will hurt.
In the era of the NBA where players are chasing dollar signs, the Warriors could very well end up like the Oklahoma City Thunder when Sam Presti was forced to trade James Harden and let Durant walk. Winning titles is the ultimate prize but it also breeds opportunities for players and issues for the organization.
According to Rauf, the Warriors are well aware they have one more season with Thompson as their shooting guard. No matter what happens in the future, the current core of Warriors had a great run. Too bad nothing last forever.