The $17.2 million trade exception the Warriors received as part of the Andre Iguodala trade with the Memphis Grizzlies last summer arguably is Golden State's most prized asset at the moment. With it, the Warriors could absorb any player's 2020-21 salary up to that amount.
At the time of the trade, the exception was set to expire on July 7 -- precisely 36 hours after the start of free agency. Since it wasn't eligible to be used prior to the conclusion of the league moratorium at noon (ET) on July 6, the Warriors would have been in a significant time crunch within which to use it. Once the season was indefinitely paused do the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March, however, it wasn't clear if the expiration deadline would be pushed back, or if Golden State simply would be out of luck.
Well, not to worry, Warriors fans. The NBA has done the right thing.
According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, the Warriors' $17.2 million trade exception now will expire on Oct. 25. Free agency is slated to begin on Oct. 18, meaning Golden State actually will have a larger window within which to use the trade exception than the team would have in a traditional year.
Considering the Warriors' 2019-20 season now is completed, the extension of the expiration deadline could be a huge benefit. They now have several more months to plan out their free-agency strategy -- and potentially pre-arrange a transaction with one or more teams.
There is no guarantee Golden State will use the full value of the trade exception -- the Warriors already are expected to be a tax-paying team -- but at the very least, this confirms the Dubs will have an opportunity to utilize an asset they most definitely were counting on.
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