With the NBA Finals over and while discussion shifts to what team LeBron James will play next, comes newly crowned three-time champions Golden State Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob laying down plans to at least keep the present line up intact for the 2018-2019 season.
Lacob told ESPN at the height of the GSW-Cleveland Cavaliers last week that he plans to make extension offers to All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green when their free agency hears arrive.
There have been reports even before the Finals got started that the management might have to let go Thompson and Green owing to concerns about Golden State’s capability to afford them when that time arrives.
Klay the other half of the team’s “Splash Brothers” that also includes Stephen Curry, was even quoted in several interviews he wants to finish his career in GSW uniform opposite to that of Draymond who said he’s willing to be traded if needs be.
Immediately after the Warriors completed a rare sweep of the Cavaliers on Friday, Lacob said he intends to submit extension offers to both players in the coming off-season this summer to address the situation.
Extensions for Thompson and Green will come at the same time the Warriors have to spend big to re-sign Kevin Durant, the Finals MVP who had earlier announced to opt out of a $26.25MM salary and enter free agency for the third straight summer.
If all three players agree to new contracts, the Warriors would likely be headed for the largest luxury tax bill in NBA history.
Lacob also announced the organization expects to sign head coach Steve Kerr to an extension.
Kerr, 52, has sill a year left on the original five-year, $25M deal he signed with Golden State prior to the 2014/15 season. With three championships to his credit, the organization wants to keep Kerr in his current role.
“We’ll get it done this summer,” Lacob said. “Let him rest a little bit. But we’ll get it done. He wants to be with us. We want him long term. He obviously has some health issues he’s still working through, but we’ll get it done. I think as long as he feels comfortable doing it long term, we want him.”
Kerr has been calling the shots from the Warriors to a 328-265 win-loss record in four seasons, leading the team to the NBA Finals in each of those campaigns.
“All good things cost a lot,” Lacob explained. “We’re going to try to sign Klay and Draymond to extensions this summer. They’ve earned the right to do whatever they want. Maybe they want to wait until free agency. I can’t control that. But we’ll do whatever we can to keep them.”
“We’ve proven that if we think we’re competing for a championship, we’ll be in the luxury tax. No one wants to be, but we expect to be” Laco said as quoted by ESPN.
“All I can tell you is we’re going to sit down and do our planning on how we’re going to improve the team for the future and setting ourselves up in the future. And it could go a number of different ways, ” he said.
Thompson is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $18,988,725 next season. He has spent seven years with the Warriors and is coming off his fourth straight All-Star appearance.
Green has two seasons left on his current deal, worth $17,469,565 next season and $18,539,130 in 2019/20. He has been with Golden State for six years and is a three-time All-Star.