The Warriors haven't been shy about spending money in order to maintain the roster that has won four NBA titles in the last eight seasons.
Putting money into the roster has been one of the main calling cards for Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber ever since they bought the franchise in 2010.
But in order to field a championship-level roster, the Warriors have had to go way over the salary cap and luxury tax thresholds. That makes the roster very, very expensive.
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During the 2021-22 NBA season, the Warriors had just under $176 million in taxable salaries, per Spotrac. That works out to a luxury tax bill of an additional $170 million. So the cost of the 2022-title winning team was north of $340 million.
The Warriors are playing by the rules, though, in order to keep their own players. They are just paying the steep price.
Lacob made an appearance on The Athletic's "TK Show" with Tim Kawakami on Thursday and got into a back-and-forth about how much the team could end up spending in the years to come, while also acknowledging that other teams and the NBA aren't thrilled with the Warriors right now.
Kawakami: "Is there a number that you put up there for Bob? Or do you guys have a number, like 'We can't go over $420 [million], you know, total commitment, $450 [million]?"
Golden State Warriors
Lacob: "You're really good at reporting. You're one of the smarter reporters out there but I'm going to tell you, you're numbers are kind of messed up. I will just say that. You were throwing numbers out there like $400 and $500 [million]."
Kawakami: "The multiples go crazy."
Lacob: "Those numbers are not even remotely possible. They're just not. I'm already in trouble with the rest of the league. We are in trouble for being where we are. In fact, Vegas, I'll be at the NBA Board of Governors meeting Tuesday, let me tell you. They're not happy. It's not just us. Other teams are going into the luxury tax now as well. We kind of blew a hole in the system and it's not a good look from the league's perspective. They don't want to see it happen. And there are limits. I'm not going to say what they are but there are limits to what you can do. You've said we bring in a lot of revenue. We are very successful at generating revenue, Brandon Schneider and his group and you are correct. We had a terrific year, revenue wise. We went to the Finals. That's obvious. But I can also tell you the expenses are incredible, all-time record. Not just player salaries but everything else. So it all adds up. We spend everything we make. We don't take any distribution [money]. Never taken a dollar. None of our partners have taken a dollar. We just pile it back into building an arena, which we did for five years. We were making a lot of money in Oakland the last few years. We piled it into this arena without public help. And now when we're in a stage where our players have gotten ... been with us longer and they make more money and we want to retain them, we want to continue going for championships, it's piling all that money into player salaries. And that's what we've done here last year and the last few years and we'll again do this year."
The Warriors' tax bill might not be as high for the upcoming 2022-23 season, depending on how they fill out the roster. But in the coming years, with looming extensions for Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, the bill could go through the roof.
It was the luxury tax implications that forced the Warriors to let Gary Payton II leave in free agency rather than match the offer he got from the Portland Trail Blazers.
And if the Warriors eventually have to sign Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and/or Moses Moody to extensions, the bill could get even higher.
For now though, Lacob and the Warriors' ownership are willing to foot the bill in order to win as much as possible while Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are in their primes.