Veteran Golden State Warriors' duo among league's most overpaid players

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors may have the highest payroll in the NBA, yet the franchise is struggling to simply make the playoffs as they sit tenth in the Western Conference with seven games remaining in the regular season.

The math doesn't add up. This is an ownership/front office as financially committed to winning as there's ever been in league history. That only means one thing -- that some players are performing well below what their contracts would forecast.

Golden State Warriors' duo Klay Thompson and Chris Paul have been listed as two of the NBA's most overpaid players in the NBA this season

The Warriors are paying five players in excess of $20 million this season, with Stephen Curry heading the list at $51.9 million. While the two-time MVP remains worthy of his hefty contract, the same can't be said for a pair of his fellow veterans.

Klay Thompson's form early in the season was underwhelming to the point of a demotion to the bench -- far from ideal for a player making $43.2 million in 2023-24. In a recent ranking by Hoops Hype's Frank Urbina, the 34-year-old was regarded as the second-most overpaid player in the league based on salary vs. real value impact.

"According to Real Value, Thompson’s output has been worth $17.0 million while he’s actually owed $43.2 million, a negative disparity of $26.2 million."

Frank Urbina
Chris Paul, Klay Thompson
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

While Thompson's production has been on the disappointing end this season, Chris Paul's impact on the Warriors has arguably been better than what the franchise could have expected when they traded for the 38-year-old last June.

When Golden State moved for Paul's $30.8 million deal, the idea of a backup point-guard role was always going to mean the contract was/is an overpay. Much of the trade decision was ultimately about paying Paul for one season, rather than the four-year, $120+ million contract they had previously committed to Jordan Poole.

Even though it may not be a huge surprise, Paul ranked fourth in the most overpaid list having averaged a career-low in points (9.2) while also seeing a steep decline in assists per game.

"Real Value tabs that output worth roughly $8.5 million when, in reality, Paul is earning $30.8 million in 2023-24 for a $22.3 million overpay by the Warriors."

Frank Urbina

Fortunately for the Warriors, both Thompson and Paul are likely to be on heavily reduced salaries next season, if they're on the team at all. Thompson and the franchise are yet to come to terms on an extension, meaning the five-time All-Star is expected to enter free agency. Paul, on the other hand, has a $30 million team option that Golden State are unlikely to pick up.