Basketball is a business.
Just ask Juan Toscano-Anderson and his bank account.
The versatile Warriors forward and fan favorite has outplayed his two-way contract this season but ultimately has been stung by the NBA’s decision to remove the 50-game cap and NBA playoff restrictions for two-way players.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr hopes the team and Toscano-Anderson can come to a multi-year agreement at some point in 2021.
“I hope so,” Kerr told reporters Tuesday. “We’ll see how it plays out. Juan is clearly a very effective NBA player. We’d like to have him here for a long time. We’ll see how it works out.”
Toscano-Anderson is making $449,155 this season despite being a rotation player. Other Warriors like Alen Smailagic, Mychal Mulder and Eric Paschall are each making about $1.5 million this year, meaning JTA could be making a million more dollars than he is now.
But the Warriors are facing a steep luxury tax bill at the end of the year, which could make commitment to Toscano-Anderson realistically a $4 million-plus investment. Financially for the franchise, it makes sense to keep Toscano-Anderson’s contract status quo.
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Toscano-Anderson, who hails from deep East Oakland, is averaging 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 19.5 minutes per game. But JTA’s impact goes beyond numbers and he has endeared himself to teammates and fans with his energetic, no-back-down style of play. Kerr has also been able to use JTA in a variety of roles, from bench spark plug to shooter to facilitator.
“The thing I love about is, he doesn’t let anything get in his way,” Kerr said. “He doesn’t allow any distractions, he just plays. He plays his butt off every single night. Guys on the team love him for it and we win games because of it.”