Last year, the Golden State Warriors and their fans got a taste of how the other half lives. After years of competing for NBA titles, the Bay Area club fell to the bottom of the standings and finished the season with the worst record in the league. The 2020 campaign, however, should be a bit different.
While the biggest changes will be on the roster—both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson should be back to their best—the Golden State Warriors will also have a financial advantage.
The Golden State Warriors had a terrible 2019-20 season
On paper, everyone knew the year would be tough. The Warriors lost some key contributors, like Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Kevin Durant during the offseason; Klay Thompson was also out of action with a torn ACL. Despite those challenges, though, things would still manage to get worse.
At the end of October, Steph Curry broke his hand; he wouldn’t return to action until March 5. The star guard wouldn’t suit up for another game before COVID-19 halted all on-court action.
When all was said and done, the Warriors (understandably) finished the year 15-50. Things should be a bit different, however, in 2020-21.
Receiving a massive financial boost from the NBA
If nothing else, the Golden State Warriors will enter the 2020-21 season with a healthy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The team, however, also received a financial boost from the NBA and the NBPA.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, those two groups agreed to make some tweaks to the CBA. One of those included keeping the salary cap and luxury tax level at the same numbers ($109.140 million and $132.627 million, respectively) as they were last season; this year, though, luxury tax payments will be reduced in proportion to decreased basketball-related revenue.
While that may sound complex, it essentially means that teams paying luxury tax, like the Warriors, caught a financia break.
“With $130.1 million committed to just Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins next season, Golden State was looking at a gigantic tax bill at season’s end, which could very well result in a more frugal approach to roster building. But based on the agreed-upon structure, the Warriors likely will spend far less in luxury tax payments,” Brian Witt wrote for NBC Sports.
“That’s fantastic news for the Warriors, and could compel them to be more aggressive in spending, since the tax payments will be considerably more manageable.”
The Golden State Warriors have a lot going for them when the NBA season begins
Under ordinary circumstances, a team that finished 15-50 wouldn’t be in good shape for the following season, no matter who they scored in the draft. The Golden State Warriors, however, are a different story.
As mentioned above, the Warriors’ collapse was somewhat of a perfect storm; personnel turnover and injuries struck at the same time, leaving the roster decimated. When the new season tips off, though, things will be different. If nothing else, Curry and Thompson will be back together, shooting three-pointers like only they can.
Beyond those two stars, the Warriors also hold the second-overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. Whether they select James Wiseman or trade down, they’ll surely improve the roster in some way. Combine all of that with up to $50 million in extra spending money, and things are looking pretty good for Golden State.
Will it be enough to put the Golden State Warriors back into the top tier of NBA teams? With the season starting in December, we’ll all find out soon enough.