Any championship-aspiring team categorically needs a host of players to play above their contractual value in order to reach success. That’ll be no different for the Golden State Warriors next season, even if they do possess the highest projected payroll in the league.
With most of their salary cap taken up by five players making over $22 million next season, the Warriors will be hoping for a number of their players to play above their value. That’s not to say the franchise can’t get a bargain out of that five-man group, with a couple of key players on incredibly team-friendly deals.
Despite their exorbitant payroll, the Golden State Warriors still have a couple of the NBA’s most underpaid players heading into next season.
Let’s take a look at Golden State’s three most underpaid players ahead of next season. Note: This takes into account 2023-24 salaries specifically, not the total amount over the course of a multi-year contract.
1. Stephen Curry – $51.9 million
Let’s start with the most obvious one, even if it’s strange to say about someone making over $50 million. From an on-court aspect, Stephen Curry is still in the top handful of players in the NBA. In a league where there is a maximum amount of money that players can make, you can make the argument that every top five player is underpaid. Even at 35-years-old, the two-time MVP is in that conversation.
Just has been the case for the past decade, Curry is central to everything the Warriors do. Sure, he may have had a couple of frustrating injuries last season, but he still posted the third-most points on his career, averaging 29.4 points per game on 49.3% from the floor and 42.7% from three-point range. He also averaged a career-high in rebounds (6.1) along with points in the postseason (30.5).
What can’t be ignored about Curry is his off-court impact — as one of the faces of the league over the past decade, he’s made the Warriors hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of dollars and into what the franchise has become today. No amount of supermax contract money can repay that.