Last season, the Warriors traded Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler to get below the tax line. While it saved money in the short term, it was ultimately a long-term move.
Teams that are in the luxury tax for three straight are subject to a more punitive luxury tax. By avoiding the luxury tax last year, the Warriors allowed themselves to enter the luxury tax this coming season with a three year barrier prior to repeater tax exposure. Re-signing Jarrett Jack at anything remotely close to market value would push the Warriors over the luxury tax line.
The Warriors only have $33 million in guaranteed salary in the 2014-15 season. Do not confuse this with future flexibility, not including a potential Jack extension. But future free-agent beware, this number will not hold. Including a hypothetical Jack extension, the Warriors would have around $40 million guaranteed to only six players. Filling out a roster with anything other than players on rookie or minimum contracts would push the Warriors close to the luxury tax with Klay Thompson and the 2012-13 rookie class’ extensions pending.
For those who believe the Warriors’ current core can succeed as players develop, re-signing Jack allows the Warriors to maintain current levels of play while still planning for the future.
However, the reliance on Jack may limit the development of the Warriors’ perimeter players. Stephen Curry was often used in an off-ball role as he shared the court with Jack. Curry is already an elite offensive player, but the reliance on Jack, especially at the end of games, could limit his development as a consistent player.
Jack’s presence prevents Thompson and Harrison Barnes from taking over as secondary ball handlers. Though both would likely struggle in that role, they need to refine those skills for the future. With Jack, they wouldn’t have that opportunity.
Jack also keeps Kent Bazemore, a potential defensively impactful backup point guard, out of the rotation. Jack may raise the Warriors short-term ceiling, but his long-term effect is unknown.