, Golden State should see its core group of players return next season, but there are a number of free agents who could depart.,
National Basketball Association
The champagne was flowing after the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years last week. But before the bottles were emptied, the champions were already answering questions about running it back next season.
Do they keep the roster together? If they do, they might have to continue to be the league’s biggest spenders.
Finals MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are all returning next season and sound confident in winning that fifth ring, especially when young players like Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga are expected to be alongside the veterans.
“And we ain’t done,” Thompson said Friday while appearing on Green’s podcast. “That’s the beautiful thing about it. We got these young bucks behind us, and we got the same squad coming back? That’s scary for the NBA.”
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Wiggins and Poole are both entering the final years of their contracts and could possibly be the future of the organization. Both were asked about staying in the Bay Area long-term during their exit interviews.
“I would love to stay here,” Wiggins said Saturday afternoon. “Being here, this is top-notch. The way they treat the players … we’re all one big family. I feel like a lot of places may say that, but they show it through their actions.”
Poole, on the other hand wasn’t looking too far ahead yet.
“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t even been able to fathom anything about that process yet,” Poole said. “I was so locked in on the championship. Like, we know it will happen, we put ourselves in situations to be successful and everything else will take care of itself.”
Signing Poole and Wiggins long-term will be essential, but the team also has a handful of free agents to think about this offseason. Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee and Chris Chiozza will all be unrestricted free agents. Juan Toscano-Anderson and Quinndary Weatherspoon will be restricted free agents.
On top of all this, the Warriors already have a top-heavy roster. According to Spotrac.com, the quartet of Curry ($48 million), Thompson ($40.6M), Wiggins ($33.6M) and Green ($25.8M) alone account for more than 70% of their cap space for next season.
That has the franchise facing an estimated luxury tax bill of more than $74 million as their roster is currently situated.
Of course, the Warriors have not been shy about spending money, and — as The Sporting News outlined last week — the franchise spent more than $170 million just on the luxury tax last season.
Will the Warriors continue to spend big to win big? Or will the strategy change as they move forward?
Golden State might not be able to retain all of their players, but one thing is clear, the players seem eager to have a similar roster from this championship heading into next season.
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