The Golden State Warriors will have trouble replicating another successful season in 2013-14. Their financial situation will likely leave them unable to bring back both Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. The projected luxury tax threshold for the 2013-14 season is $71.6 million, and the Warriors are already right there without re-signing Jack or Landry.
In the past five years, the Warriors have made a few decisions that are seriously biting them in the rear end.
It’s also important to remember the extensions that are working out well for the Warriors. Stephen Curry recently signed a four-year, $44 million extension – an absolute steal for a star of his caliber. In 2013-14, Curry will be the fourth-highest paid player on the Warriors. David Lee came to the Warriors via a sign-and-trade and will be the second-highest paid Warrior. These two have been worth every cent for the Warriors organization.
Andris Biedrins’ extension is a contract the Warriors have been regretting since it’s birth. Biedrins, in July of 2008, signed a six-year extension for $54 million. After a career year in 2008-09, where he averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks, his numbers feel to a dismal 0.5 /2.9/0.3/0.3/0.8 in 2012-13. Biedrins will be expected to pick it up with Festus Ezeli out until at least December.
But on top of being overpaid, Biedrins looks like he has completely forgotten how to play basketball. Nobody knows what to expect from Andrew Bogut next season. So, a Bogut-Biedrins combination is a scenario the Warriors cannot be happy with.
Richard Jefferson is due $11 million next season. For a guy who will likely serve as the third string small-forward, Jefferson is not just one of the most overpaid players on the Warriors but in the entire league.
Jefferson was the end result of multiple trades that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee. Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh ($17.5 million total for 2012-13) were sent to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson ($23 million for 2012-13).
Jackson was then sent to the San Antonio Spurs for Jefferson and the rights to Ezeli. Have the Warriors “won” the Ellis-Bogut trade? With Ellis opting out of his contract, the Bucks have definitely not come out on top, but it’s still too early to tell how the Warriors will fare considering Bogut’s injuries and the massive Jefferson contract.
Those two contracts are absolutely killing the Warriors. Biedrins seems like a lost cause. Jefferson’s contract may be worth it if Ezeli continues his solid production.
In the end, however, the inability to re-sign Jack and Landry may damage the Warriors’ future. Golden State has a lot of momentum from last season, but their financial troubles could completely stall their efforts in the next.
The Warriors will be free of those massive contracts at the end of the 2013-14 season. Even if they don’t repeat the same success next season, the 2014-15 season will be a huge year for extensions and free-agent signings. If Curry, Lee and Bogut can remain healthy, there will be a lot to look forward to in the future.