Warriors' tax luck won't 'directly' alter TPE use, Myers says


Bob Myers didn't breathe a sigh of relief as loud as Warriors fans did earlier this week upon learning the news of the NBA's luxury tax structure for next season.

Golden State could acquire a player with its $17.2 million trade exception and not pay as punitive of a tax with payments now tied to the league's basketball-related income as they would have otherwise under a flat salary cap. That's nominally good news for Myers, the Warriors' general manager and president of basketball operations, who now seemingly has more flexibility to use the exception.

That doesn't mean the Warriors will, though.

"I think the mandate is the same. If something makes sense, we'll do it. If it doesn't, we won't," Myers told reporters in a video conference Wednesday. "It's there. It's a tool. We can use it. We've known that for a long time. It's finally kind of upon us, and it seems like the structure is set.

"There will be probably a short window to do something, and we'll see. It's not one of those things where we feel like we have to, but at the same time we want to win just as much as anybody else, so if there's a player that makes sense or a deal that makes sense, we'll go after it."

Download and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast


If Myers' quotes read like a man intent on keeping his options open, that's because he sounded like one. Myers not only admitted that the Warriors haven't finalized their draft board, but he also said that he can't yet develop a real sense of his competitors' interest in the Warriors' pick.

Is that mostly pre-draft posturing? Probably, but Myers also expressed an openness to creative uses of the exception. He said the Warriors are willing to facilitate three-team trades by taking on salary, also alluding to the possibility a team gives Golden State a draft pick for absorbing a team's unwanted contract.

"It's very, very fluid," Myers said. "We have thoughts. We have ideas about it, but it has to make sense. It has to make sense for us."

RELATED: How Westbrook's reported trade desire would impact Warriors

The steep price the Warriors paid for the exception is sunk, and it's far away from coming to fruition. Golden State owes the Memphis Grizzlies a first-round pick in 2024, '25 or '26 as part of trading Andre Iguodala last summer, with decreasing protections in each year. The player the Grizzlies ultimately will select hasn't graduated high school, but the Miami Heat -- not the Warriors -- are benefiting from Iguodala's veteran savvy.

Still, the exception left in Iguodala's wake can be used to acquire a quality piece. The Warriors won't have all that much time to use it, as Myers expects the exception to expire around Thanksgiving, but there are salaries the Warriors could fit in the exception that wouldn't otherwise be attainable given Golden State's salary-cap situation.

If the Warriors don't use it, they'll lose it, but Myers said Golden State won't be forced to by ownership.

"I haven't been told you can't use it," Myers said. "I haven't been told you have to use it. I've been told, 'Do your job, and try to get it right.' That's what I can say about that."