The Golden State Warriors are them midst of a tough season that has them well out of the playoff picture in the days ahead of the All-Star break. The Warriors have taken a significant step back this year as their star-studded backcourt has missed nearly the entire year due to injuries. Much of this has shifted the focus beyond the 2019-20 campaign, with the team getting back on track next season. With that in mind, team owner Joe Lacob has laid out what he has planned for the team with Stephen Curry leading the charge.
Warriors’ rough 2019-20 campaign
In the months leading into this season, it was expected that the Warriors would take a notable step back due to the numerous changes to the rosters and injuries. Their roster had undergone much change with the likes of Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston, all out of the mix.
Meanwhile, All-Star guard Klay Thompson could miss the entire year due to recovering from a torn ACL. It also doesn’t help that Curry has missed all but four games this season due to a fractured wrist. The injuries combined with a mostly inexperienced roster has put them in a tight spot.
The Warriors are on the verge of guaranteeing that they will finish with a below .500 record for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. Despite these struggles, team owner Joe Lacob is confident in the plan that he has ahead for his franchise.
Joe Lacob’s plan for Stephen Curry, Warriors
How the Warriors handled their contract situations with their roster has put them in the spot of being well over the salary cap threshold with repeater taxes hitting them.
However, Lacob doesn’t appear to be deterred in the one bit with his vision of getting the franchise back on the right track over the next couple of years after this season. According to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, he has laid out his plan for the Warriors moving forward to get them back in the title picture.
“Our payroll right now, right now, is well over $200 (million) for next year (counting luxury-tax penalties). People don’t do the math to understand it. We know what it’s going to be. It’s going to be the highest payroll we’ve ever had next year. We know that. The question is how high. If there’s a trade-exception (deal) that we really want, that’s worth it, let’s consider it. Mid-level exception? Very likely to use,” Joe Lacob said.
“The first pick in the draft, if we were to get that? With luxury tax, (that contract would be) huge. Really, the emphasis is on next year. The next two years, our window — Steph’s last two years under contract, before we hopefully bring him back again — we need to field the best possible team we can. That was the emphasis.”
The Warriors are focus on putting forth the best team possible to further cement Curry’s commitment to the franchise beyond his current deal. Following this season, he has just two years left on his five-year, $201.1 million contract that has no player or team option for the final year.
Lacob’s comments are quite clear that they will be quite opening to moving their first-round pick if that means adding proven talent to help them compete for an NBA title. The focus is on doing whatever it takes to not only get back to contending for championships but, more importantly, putting forth a team that will convince Curry to re-sign.
Warriors are in a promising spot
The Warriors are utilizing this off-year to assess the state of their franchise, which could prove to be vital to them getting back on track.
Curry will return to the floor at the beginning of March, which should provide enough of a window to see how Andrew Wiggins fits into their long-term plans. He can showcase he can be a viable piece for a playoff-contending team; it could work two-fold for them as he could become a core piece along with a potentially attractive trade asset to acquire more proven talent.
There are many ways things can unfold over the next several months, but it’s clear that the Warriors have a plan of how they will attack the offseason and well beyond that.