After Klay Thompson’s season-ending injury, Warriors go bankrupt to stay competitive


What was supposed to be a night full of possibilities for the Golden State Warriors has turned out to be a disaster. Army of the runner-up overall in Wednesday’s draft and all the options that came with it, the franchise lost its collective breath when news broke that Klay Thompson had suffered a potentially devastating injury while working down south. from California. Thursday the the worst fears have been confirmed: Thompson will be missing all next season with a torn right Achilles tendon.

You mean a punch.

Beyond feeling bad for Thompson, one of the NBA’s most beloved players and a guy who truly adores playing basketball, the first question was whether this breaking news might have an impact on how which the Warriors approached the draft. It didn’t seem like it would, as they brought along the player they were constantly connected with throughout James Wiseman’s draft process.

It should have been a night of celebration for the Warriors, who fully expected to be back in the Championship with Steph Curry and Thompson healthy and Wiseman ranking as the missing big man. Now that Thompson is out, so is that shot.

So what is plan B? It starts with Kelly Oubre Jr., who the Warriors acquired Thursday in Oklahoma City, Adrian Wojnarowski d’ESPN. To sign Oubre as an over-the-cap team, the Warriors are using the $ 17.2 million trade exception – via the deal that sent Andre Iguodala to Memphis last year – to absorb the salary of $ 14.4 million Oubre for next season. His deal is done at the end of this season, so the Warriors aren’t committed to him beyond 2021, in which case the hope is that Klay will return.

You must give the Warriors property credit. They put their money where they want. As a tax-burdened team, Warriors must pay massive penalties on top of every dollar they spend. According to ESPN cap guru Bobby Marks, here’s what the Warriors pay for Oubre between his salary and the tax penalties he carries:

Yes, you read that right: Ownership of the Warriors, in its current form, could have saved $ 82 million if they had simply decided not to use this business exception, which could have been easily rationalized in the absence of Thompson. ; paying that kind of money for a team that no longer feels like a title contender could reasonably be seen as crazy.

But Joe Lacob once vowed that the Warriors will never be over-spent, that as long as he’s there, money won’t stop GM Bob Myers’ ability to put the best team he can on the pitch. eventually assemble, and it certainly keeps its word even in a brutal economy. Myers said on Wednesday he was given the green light to spend that trade exception even before Thompson’s injury occurred.

And the Warriors probably haven’t finished spending. They still have their $ 6 million mid-level exception for taxpayers to use, and they will likely have more money to hand out in the form of a $ 9.3 million disabled player exception, than they do. they asked on Thursday, according to ESPN brands. Longtime Warriors reporter Monte Poole said the Warriors on Wednesday have their eyes on four potential additions for big men when the free agency opens Friday.

In other words, the Warriors aren’t giving up this season. If it were to start now, the likely starting five would be Curry, Oubre, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Wiseman, with Kevon Looney (who they might still be looking to unload) and Eric Paschall on the bench. They’re a team that can still compete, but Curry’s burden of reverting to his supernatural ways has grown much heavier.

In the end, there is simply no way to coat it. With Thompson out, the Warriors may have gone from three or four top title contenders to a team that may well have to fight to make the playoffs in an absolutely busy Western Conference. But any thought that they might subtly play halfway this season in the wake of the Thompson news seems to be gone. The warriors are still there. Regardless of the price.


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