Gary Payton II has now confirmed his reason for leaving the Golden State Warriors was the almighty dollar, a factor that could cause the Warriors to lose numerous key players in the near future.
The Dubs are as strapped for cash as any team in the NBA. Though they’ve (mostly) built this dynasty from scratch, finding countless gems in the draft, the franchise is still bound by the same cap restrictions as every other squad.
The NBA’s luxury tax and limited cap space per team is something that has already caused the Dubs to lose the likes of Payton and Otto Porter.
As more and more players demand a salary raise, the Warriors might have to cope with losing even more talent.
Gary Payton left the Golden State Warriors in search of a pay raise — something more players might end up doing in the near future.
There’s no sense in blaming Payton, who was battling for a home in the NBA just a year ago, for seizing the moment and signing a three-year $26 million dollar deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Payton certainly earned every penny the Blazers are giving him. Unfortunately, the Warriors could not reasonably pay him the same price given their financial situation.
This is a dilemma the Warriors will be all too familiar with soon.
Next on everyone’s mind is Jordan Poole’s lingering contract extension. After that, Andrew Wiggins is due for a new deal. To make things extra chaotic, Draymond Green plans on opting out of his contract to seek a max extension.
Just like Payton, there’s no way to argue these players don’t deserve to get paid. They are champions, after all.
But the Warriors simply can not pay everybody.
This means a harsh reality for the franchise as they potentially prepare to play musical chairs with new assets every year — barring a miraculous move from the front office to keep everyone locked in for the future.