The Golden State Warriors are still riding the high from winning the 2022 NBA championship, and there's a good chance they'll follow it up with a win again next year.
But the Dubs did experience some loss summer, namely the departure of Gary Payton II, who signed a deal with the Trail Blazers after an impressive showing in the playoffs.
It's a notable subtraction for Golden State, but Draymond Green defended the move on his podcast and pulled out the numbers to explain why it was ultimately the right decision.
“I didn’t wanna see GP go. But with the way these taxes are set up now, I think, and I could be a little off on the numbers, GP signed for $9 million a year," Green said. "In order for us to pay that $9 million a year in our tax situation, I think it’s like $45 million a year or something like that. It’s one of those things like, you’re looking at it like, ‘Ah, man, that’s $9 million.’ But they’re looking at it like, ‘That’s a $45 million player,’ and are they willing to go that high? I think that’s something that has to be figured out in this next CBA.”
Gary Payton II was a great fit for the Dubs, and the spark he provided defensively helped propel them through the Western Conference playoff bracket.
He was so valued, in fact, that his departure apparently "stung" several within the organization.
"The difference in the tax penalty — somewhere around $15 million extra in the immediate, a whole lot more throughout a longer-term deal — caused Lacob and the Warriors to balk. It stung several in the organization, per sources. They’d found Payton and grown to not only love the person but also understand the value of his unique skill set. It translated to winning. For the first time, they’d failed to retain one of their own due to an unwillingness to meet a financial demand."
It will be interesting to see what GPII will do in Portland and if he'll have the same impact as he had in Golden State.
But for a team with such a high tax bill already, the Warriors have to save money where they can, and Payton was just too expensive to keep around.