Over the last few years, the Golden State Warriors have really committed to being a legitimate title contender.
Their run really started after they acquired star guard Stephen Curry and his back court mate, Klay Thompson through the draft. They then traded a volume shooting guard in Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for one of the game’s best defensive big men in center Andrew Bogut. Last year, they tried to clear enough cap space to sign free agent center Dwight Howard. After he chose to sign with the Houston Rockets, the Warriors brought in former Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets’ swingman Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors have had discussions to acquire Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love, but have refused to part ways with guard Klay Thompson. However, that isn’t the only thing stopping the Warriors from making a big splash. Power forward’ David Lee’s contract has been a hindrance as well.
Lee is scheduled to make $15,012,000 for the 2014-2015 season and $15,493,680 for the 2015-2016 season. He is the highest-paid player on the Warriors, followed by Bogut ($12,972,973), Iguodala ($12,289,544) and then Curry ($10,629,213).
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders calls Lee’s deal “pretty rough.”
Lee’s contract is pretty rough, and the Warriors will be looking at a significant tax payment once they extend Draymond Green and Klay Thompson if Lee is still around for 15-16.
Here’s the question though: What if Love weren’t willing to tell them he’d re-sign in the Bay, or opt into his contract for next year and put off free agency for a year? What if you give up Klay Thompson then?
I don’t see any other obvious trade targets that are worth including Thompson.
Lee averaged 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 52.3% from the field and 78.0% from the free throw line this season.