The Golden State Warriors have won the 2022 NBA championship, and there's no doubt that this was a fantastic end to the season for them. This outcome was great considering the team has missed the playoffs for the last two seasons.
Game 5 was pivotal for the Warriors, as that is where they took control of the series. After the win, analyst Brian Windhorst notably claimed that the win was a "checkbook win" for the Warriors, taking shots at their insane payroll.
"Andrew Wiggins is not an underdog. He makes $32 million a year. While the Warriors were down these last couple of years and winning no games, they kept spending money because they've got it. They re-signed Draymond Green, they re-signed Steph Curry, they re-signed Kevon Looney and kept Andrew Wiggins."
"They have a $340 million payroll when you consider taxes. You don't just have to beat the Warriors on the court, but you have to beat their checkbook. Nothing against Andrew Wiggins, but this was a checkbook win for the Warriors."
Stephen Curry has fired back on Brian Windhorst's comments about "checkbook" wins recently, pointing out that it started with a "core group of champions and bonafide winners" who made this Finals win happen. It is true that the Warriors have a huge payroll, but generally, a franchise has to pay to keep a championship-winning team together.
“I heard someone talk about pay, checkbook wins, and all this other stuff, yeah cause it starts with a core group of champions and bonafide winners and the belief that we can run it back, and now we’re here.”
The Golden State Warriors will have some important free agency decisions to make this free agency regarding their role players, and we'll see if they end up keeping the roster together fully.
With that being said, the Warriors have clearly indicated that money isn't a problem in the past, and it would make sense for them to simply run it back by paying their key role players. The Warriors would be the favorite to win next year if their roster stays the same, and we'll see what happens going forward.