Why Warriors not using trade exception would stun Bobby Marks


The Warriors created a $17.2 million trade exception when they traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in July 2019.

And one of the biggest questions across the whole league this offseason is whether or not Golden State will take advantage of that it.

Ownership might not give president of basketball operations Bob Myers the green light to use any of it, because doing so would dramatically increase the franchise's luxury tax bill. And as we know, the Warriors -- like every other NBA team -- are facing steep financial consequences because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday's episode of "The Lowe Post" podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks offered their thoughts on the topic.

Lowe: "You have [Steph] Curry, Klay [Thompson] and Draymond [Green] -- those dudes took you to five straight [NBA] Finals. They deserve your all-in commitment, and your fans deserve it.

"Even if all [you] have is a craven addiction to what [your] public image is -- if you spend now, if you just bite the bullet and spend whatever that tax bill is to try to win -- I think the goodwill from the fan base (will be significant).

"If all you care about is being showered with goodwill, then spend the money. Do it now. I do think they owe Steph, Klay and Draymond a good honest shot to compete for the championship the next couple of years.


"The West is tough. They could use a little injection of something."

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Marks: "That's why I would be stunned if that trade exception -- or some of it -- is not used at all. Besides the No. 2 [overall draft] pick and that Minnesota [Timberwolves' 2021 top-three protected first-rounder], that's probably their third best non-player asset. You have a small window [to use it]."

The exception certainly is valuable, as it can be used in multiple ways. For example, the Warriors could trade the No. 2 pick (whether that's for a player or in a move down the lottery) in exchange for a player (or multiple players) earning up to $17.2 million in total salary. Another option would be Golden State acquiring someone another franchise is looking to shed, and netting a future draft pick in the process.

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But as mentioned before, the tax penalties would be large.

"One thing I've learned with Joe [Lacob] is you never say no, you never say never," Steve Kerr told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami earlier this month. "Joe is so competitive and constantly is putting his money where his mouth is because he wants to win so badly. And he knows that we're in the midst of a run that can continue. So I don't put anything past Joe.

"I just think that realistically, we've lost so much revenue and we aren't guaranteed anything next year, it's hard to come out and say, 'Yeah, we're gonna use that thing.' It would probably have to be something really special."

Also, don't forget that the Warriors have the $5.7 million-ish taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal, and presumably can add a really good player with that asset. In fact, one could argue it is more valuable than the trade exception because it would mean a free agent is choosing Golden State over other franchises, as opposed to adding a player already under contract elsewhere.

The draft and free agency are approaching, but the Warriors have plenty of time to figure everything out.

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