Warriors owner Joe Lacob bragged about generating more revenue than the Knicks and Lakers.
Days later, coronavirus rocked the NBA and beyond.
The greater economy tanked. Golden State’s season was finished. Next season will be impacted.
The Warriors’ new arena – a huge source of expected revenue – doesn’t look so lucrative.
Which could affect the product on the floor. Golden State has tools to bounce back, but one of those mechanisms – a $17,185,185 trade exception created in last year’s Andre Iguodala trade – would be quite costly.
The Warriors’ luxury-tax bill already projects to be about $69 million (based on the luxury-tax line remaining flat).
If the trade exception were used to acquire a $10 million player… the projected tax bill would increase by about $38 million.
If the trade exception were used to acquire a $15 million player… the projected tax bill would increase by about $64 million.
If the trade exception were used in full ($17,185,185)… the projected tax bill would increase by about $76 million.
And that’s just the luxury tax. The acquired player’s actual salary (still to be determined in these uncertain times) would also have to be paid.
Which is why Golden State probably won’t use the exception.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
sources increasingly insist on the usage of that $17.2 million exception: It’d have to be a special opportunity.
Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area analyzed options for the exception:
Knicks’ Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington
Spurs’ Rudy Gay
Suns’ Kelly Oubre
This a fairly realistic list. But do any of these players count as special? Maybe Oubre, who’s just 24, helpful on the court and driven. Maybe.
Golden State sounds like an organization trying to temper expectations about spending. It’s a common tactic with trade exceptions – build hype about the possibilities then sidestep actually paying the costs of using one.
The exception will presumably expire a week into free agency. There’s no time to wait for breakthroughs (testing, vaccine, etc.) that increase revenue. The opportunity is limited.
For a franchise that presents its as light years ahead, this is rough timing.