With finances tight, the Golden State franchise is going to have to make some crucial choices. According to the latest rumors, the Californian leaders could well resolve to sacrifice a key member of the poster, in order to be able to keep another. The harsh law of the market…
Getting back on top of the league is a mission now accomplished for the Warriors. Now they will have to tackle an even harder goal: defend their crown, they who will be the competition’s No. 1 target in 2022-23. A back-to-back is never easy to achieve, especially because the workforce tends to change face. Several players have also left the Dubs this summer, although the hard core has remained intact.
The problem is that you will probably still have to make changes, for financial reasons. The Big Three of the Bay gobble up a good part of the salary cap, which complicates negotiations with players such as Jordan Poole, for example. The back has exploded this year and can claim a triple-digit sum, which has pushed the front office to open the door when he leaves. However, Conor Letourneau of San Francisco Chronicle think there is a way to keep it:
They are expected to sit down with Poole soon to discuss a contract extension. The possibility of an extension, if it takes place, will however depend on the money he will ask them. If he wants to get the most or so, the Warriors might prefer to let things play out and wait for him to become a restricted free agent in 2023.
Although he was fundamental this season, JP3 still has to confirm over time, which is not a guarantee. So, waiting might be a good idea, provided you don’t miss out when the time comes. But this risk there could still be too big for the Californian leaders. Still according to Letourneau, they could therefore resolve to sacrifice none other than Andrew Wiggins, in order to be sure to offer the jackpot to their nugget:
Andrew Wiggins sacrificed for the benefit of Jordan Poole?
While waiting to give him a contract, the Warriors are giving themselves more options. Maybe Wiggins will struggle and he can be re-signed next summer at a lower price than he is now. Also, maybe the Warriors decide they can’t keep both Wiggins and Poole, and start considering trades involving Wiggins.
The case of Maple Jordan is similar, since he too was central in the quest for the title and he also wants to hit the jackpot. The difference is that he is a bit older than his teammate, and his market rating is even higher. Taking advantage of it now could therefore help GS, both to extend Poole and to get some very useful pieces in the back-to-back fight, starting in the fall. It remains to be seen what will be decided.
Letting Andrew Wiggins slip away to keep Jordan Poole is the strategy the Warriors could pursue now. The loss will necessarily be heavy, but it seems necessary. We can also count on the Dubs to work miracles, in terms of recruitment.