August 18, 2022
The Warriors may spend the majority of next season being accused of overspending to undermine their success.

It isn’t every day that professional sports teams spend as much as the Golden State Warriors. After all, most teams do not ever win at the rate the Dubs have been doing the past decade or so.

Since Joe Lacob bought the Warriors in 2010, the Dubs have shed their label as one of the laughing stocks of the league, and become one of the premium North American professional franchises. In 12 seasons since Lacob has taken over, they have won four titles and made the Finals six times. Essentially the Warriors have got to the Finals every other year that Lacob has owned the team.

Obviously, this has caused many fans and even owners to feel slighted and jealous. Even some media pundits have downplayed the Dubs’ success and chalked it up to a rich problem. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst described Game 5 as a ‘checkbook win’ for the Warriors, describing their ‘$340 million payroll’.

Last season, the Warriors led the league in spending with $184 million in cap space, and then over $175 million in luxury tax according to Spotrac. That is over $360 million in spending for Lacob and the other Warriors’ owners just last year.


Joe Lacob Defends His Spending and the Success of Warriors

On July 15, Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner had Joe Lacob on their “Point Forward” podcast, and Lacob did not mince words about the criticism of his spending, and actually thought it unfair his team was being penalized for keeping their original talent.

“I don’t know how they can be mad because we’re homegrown,” Lacob said. “I think you should be paying a high luxury tax if you’re using it to go and get free agents and outspend your competition. But if you’re developing your own guys and paying Steph Curry what he deserves and Klay Thompson what he’s earned, why am I paying $200 million in luxury tax? I don’t think that’s fair.”

Lacob has a point. While other teams have went on and bought players, the Warriors cultivated most of their stars and outside of Kevin Durant, have not really went out to recruit big name players. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have all played for the Dubs for over a decade, and with the accolades they have collected, they should be getting paid top dollar.

“I think it’s a very unfair system because our team is built,” Lacob continues. “Top eight players are drafted by this team. We have guys that were undrafted and we found and developed them in Santa Cruz.”

The Dubs rejuvenated Otto Porter’s value with his new deal in Toronto, and also did the same with Gary Payton II. The Warriors figured out how to manage Porter’s injury history to optimize his value. They also managed to show the entire league Payton II’s true value when he is used correctly. He recently signed a multi-year deal up in Portland. Both had signed with the Dubs for minimum contracts.


Other Teams Say Warriors’ Outspending Affects Competitive Balance: Report

With the Warriors’ total cap space over $200 million and over $184 million in luxury tax for next season, instead of talking about how great the Warriors play, opposing teams are focused on how their spending is making it uncompetitive for other teams. Lacob’s critique of other teams probably comes from the talk of a recent governors’ meeting at Summer League recently.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that was the chatter in Las Vegas.

As an aside on competitive balance, the growing payroll disparity between the Warriors and Clippers and the rest of the league was a hot topic at the NBA’s recent board of governors meeting in Las Vegas, sources say. Next year’s Warriors and Clippers are set to join last season’s Warriors as the three most expensive teams in NBA history.

It is quite ironic, as so many people counted the Warriors out coming into last season. Yet, when they won the title, haters look for another excuse as to why it was not fair.

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