Golden State Warriors

Report: If Jordan Poole gets max offer elsewhere, Warriors could have ‘uncomfortable conversations’ about veteran salaries

The Warriors won yet another NBA title in 2022, but their enormous payroll is always lurking in the background as a potential pitfall as Golden State attempts to keep its dynasty together.

Will one of the Warriors’ newly minted NBA champions have to go after this season due to high costs? Multiple players are eligible for contract extensions, but ownership, led by Joe Lacob, is alreay set to pay nearly $400 million in salaries this year.

On the Warriors plus/minus podcast from The Athletic, Warriors insiders Anthony Slater and Tim Kawakami said that one player, guard Jordan Poole, likely isn’t going anywhere, even if he’s offered a max contract elsewhere.

“From what I understand there is like no intention of losing Jordan Poole,” Slater said on the podcast. “Guy they drafted at 28 … As they shift toward the future, they’re going to try everything they can to retain him.”

The Athletic

Slater noted that Poole will be a restricted free agent after this season, unlike forward Andrew Wiggins, which helps the Warriors’ chances of keeping Poole.

But that’s when the podcasts’ report gets a little wild. Slater said that if Poole is offered a max contract elsewhere, the Warriors could look for ways to cut salary, even at the expense of their veterans. Slater mentioned G Klay Thompson specifically.

“What an Orlando max offer sheet to Jordan Poole probably means for the Warriors is an uncomfortable conversation about some of their veterans,” Slater said. “You know what I mean? We’re talking about what Klay Thompson’s making.”

“They hope to never get to those uncomfortable conversations. But that’s probably what it would mean. Because the intention for them is to have Jordan Poole around for the long haul.”

The Athletic

Thompson is set to make $40. 6 million in 2022-23, and $43.2 million in 2023-24 according to Spotrac. That amounts to the the 10th highest salary in the NBA next season.

Slater and Kawakami both mentioned how important the Warriors youth movement seems to ownership, and Kawakami said that Poole can do Steph Curry-like things, which I’ve long agreed with, and seems evident to most by now.

But wow, that would be an uncomfortable conversation indeed, whether it’s about Thompson’s salary or another veteran’s. It does seem that one or multiple players may have to sacrifice some money, and pride, to keep the Warriors dynasty together, however.

The good news is that there’s a precedent to this. In 2012, Hall of Famer Tim Duncan took a pay cut to keep the Spurs dynasty together. If this situation arises, the Warriors would be smart to bring that up. But for now, it’s wait and see, as all Warriors fans hope that ownership can keep their major pieces together and continue their rejuvenated dynasty.

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