7 key Golden State Warriors who might not be back next season

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Player/Team Option

Chris Paul

Chris Paul was undeniably good for the Warriors, with the 12-time All-Star ultimately accepting a bench role and delivering consistent production outside of a fractured hand that saw him miss over 20 games mid-season.

Paying a sixth man over $30 million was never going to be great value though, making it highly unlikely that Golden State pick up Paul's $30 million non-guaranteed deal for next season.

That leaves a raft of options for the franchise who could try and bring the soon to be 39-year-old back on a lower number, yet that would risk Paul leaving for nothing in free agency. They could also trade him to another team by guaranteeing his contract up to a certain number, allowing them to get a different, cheaper rotation piece for next season.

The Warriors won't be adverse to having Paul back on the team again, but it certainly shouldn't be on $30 million. That in itself leaves a reasonable chance that the future hall of famer won't be back in the Bay for a second season.

Kevon Looney

Kevon Looney's been a staple of Golden State for the best part of the last decade, yet his down season has raised question marks surrounding his future with the franchise. The 28-year-old has an $8 million contract for next season, but only $3 million is guaranteed on the final year of his deal.

Given the Warriors' desire to get under the second-tax apron, getting off Looney's contract could be a way to helping make that happen. It's hard to see him retaking the starting center role from Trayce Jackson-Davis, so does the franchise really wanting to be paying $8 million for a fringe rotation piece?

Gary Payton II

Given he holds a player option for next season, there's far less likelihood that Gary Payton II departs the franchise in contrast to both Paul and Looney. Still, if the 31-year-old wants a change of scenery, he could simply opt out and depart in free agency.

The issue with that is that it's almost impossible that Payton would get more than his $9.1 million deal for next season. The defensive minded guard has been plagued by injury over the past two years, culminating in just 66 regular season games since the Warriors' 2022 championship.

Expect Payton to pick up his option for next season, leaving the franchise desperately praying that he can get himself healthy and back to a point where he's a consistent rotation member.