Luxury tax doesn't 'penalize' Warriors' draft success

Luxury tax doesn’t ‘penalize’ Warriors’ draft success

Last night, the Golden State Warriors had a chance to improve their roster in a way that has proven successful for them before: the NBA draft.

Eight of Golden State’s top 12 rotation players (James Wiseman, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga) were drafted by the Dubs. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged this feat in his opening remarks of the draft last night.

“A lot has changed in our country and world in the three years since the Warriors were last in the Finals,” Silver said. “But what has remained the same is the core of that Warriors team. That core was built through the draft.”

While the league dealt with the emergence of “superteams” in recent years as top players banded together through free-agency signings and trades, Golden State’s roster has seen minimal turnover. Five of the six players to average more than 20 minutes per game for the team in this year’s Finals were drafted by the Warriors. Out of those five, Curry and Thompson, drafted seventh and eleventh overall in their respective draft classes, were the only lottery picks.

In obtaining and developing so much talent, though, the organization has begun to reach a crossroads – only so much money can go around. Despite a largely home-grown roster, the Warriors paid $170 million in luxury tax in 2021, which nearly equals the $176 million they spent on contracts. As the front office looks to keep its championship roster together, those luxury tax totals will only grow larger.

Just hours before commencing the Warriors’ success through the draft, Silver was asked whether it was fair to penalize teams for trying to keep their drafted cores intact.

“I don’t view it as penalizing them,” the commissioner said in an interview on NBA TV. “In essence, when you have a system like we do, there’s a player sharing component to it. There’s revenue sharing and there’s also player sharing. The system is designed to help teams keep their own drafted players and they have a big advantage in doing that. In this case, Golden State was able to keep them by paying a high luxury tax in order to do that.”

“The goal is to create the best competition,” Silver later continued. “And sometimes creating the best competition means sharing top talent around the league.”

Warriors fans weren’t buying Silver’s answer.

“Glad it was asked, but I don’t like the answer. He kind of beat around the bush and basically said ‘If teams draft and develop properly, its their responsibility to share their developed players’ right?” tweeted one fan.

“Lmao he basically said that if a team’s trash at drafting they can sign the studs that other teams drafted and couldn’t afford to keep,” another replied.

“That was a ridiculous answer. It is by definition 30 independent teams who invest in scouts, coaching, medical staff, and players with the goal of winning a championship. Penalizing organizations for paying/developing homegrown is crazy. Zero incentive for bad owners to compete,” another shared.

With the 28th overall pick, the Warriors selected UW Milwaukee wing Patrick Baldwin Jr. on Thursday. Only time will tell if he’ll be seriously contributing to the team’s luxury tax by the time his rookie contract expires.

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