Draymond Green

How Wiggins' contract could influence Dray, Klay's next deal

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As the Warriors brace for a series of difficult decisions this offseason that will determine their future, one NBA pundit believes they can look to the past for a little inspiration.

Before the 2022-23 NBA season, fresh off winning their fourth title in eight years, Golden State signed All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins to a massive multiyear contract extension worth $109 million. When you take a closer look and break the numbers down year by year, though, Wiggins chose to take a pay cut of nearly $10 million to stay with the Warriors.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst suggested Warriors stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson should think about doing the same.

"Here's the real thing that faces the Warriors. They have not just Draymond Green -- who almost certainly is going to opt out of his contract, he's got a player option for $27 million, he's going to want security no matter what, whether it's in Golden State or somewhere else -- they also have Klay Thompson to deal with this offseason," Windhorst said on "First Take" on Wednesday morning. "Klay Thompson has a year left on his contract after this year, but this is the time in the NBA when you talk about extensions.

"This is what they did with Andrew Wiggins last year. And Andrew Wiggins' situation is very important when we talk about what happens with Draymond and Klay Thompson as we look at the future of the Warriors. Andrew Wiggins signed an extension that included a $9 million pay cut. He reset his salary structure, took it back, took a longer deal out and it guaranteed him a lot of money. This guy was coming off the best performance of his year in the NBA Finals, he took that pay cut."

Green, 33, has a $27.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

But what complicates things even more is the league's new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which penalizes teams like the Warriors who have payrolls that send them into the luxury tax. The tax bill for Golden State next season will be astronomical with Wiggins and Jordan Poole being in the first year of multiyear extensions.

Meanwhile, Thompson will be back with the Warriors next season, but anything thereafter is a big question mark. The Splash Bro is eligible for an extension this summer as he enters the final year of his five-year, $190 million contract.

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Both Green and Thompson have been pivotal to Golden State's success over the last decade, but as Windhorst made perfectly clear, the new CBA makes it extremely difficult for the Warriors' Big Three to stay intact.

"The reality is this: With the new rules that are coming into play, which might as well be called 'Anti-Warriors Rules,' a big chunk of this CBA is aimed squarely at the Warriors and their ability to spend like crazy. To keep this team together, they really need Draymond green and Klay Thompson, if not taking pay cuts like Andrew Wiggins, not going for the all-out payday that potentially they could get if they went elsewhere. If that's what Draymond wants, it's going to be hard for the Warriors to do that. iI's going to be hard for the Warriors to give Klay Thompson more than the $43 million that he is guaranteed for next year.

"I think they're going to hope to do what they did with Wiggins and get those guys to take a step back. Now, it's a hard sell because you say, 'Wait a minute, this organization makes hundreds of millions of dollars, it's a cash cow,' but they're headed for a $400 million payroll this year and it's also a hard sell when Jordan Poole did get paid and did get his big raise. But the reality is that the Warriors are hitting a wall, not only in terms of how much money they can spend, but with the new rules that are going to make keeping this core together- the new rules are aimed at trying to force the Warriors to break up. And Draymond is the first domino that is hovering right there on the edge."

Buckle up, Dub Nation. The long, bumpy ride of the Warriors' offseason is just getting started.

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