Warriors promote Mike Dunleavy Jr. to general manager heading into critical offseason
Bob Myers deciding to step away from the Warriors felt like the first domino in the end of an era.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. is now in charge of ensuring the other dominos don’t fall, at least for a few more years.
As was largely expected, the Warriors promoted Dunleavy to take over as general manager.
OFFICIAL: Mike Dunleavy Jr. has been promoted to General Manager.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 16, 2023
Mike enters his sixth season in the Warriors' front office, serving as Vice President, Basketball Operations for the past two seasons after two years as Assistant General Manager.
He originally joined the front… pic.twitter.com/ZR6uDFzDaD
“We think Mike is the perfect fit to lead our basketball operations department,” said co-owner Joe Lacob in a statement. “He has a wealth of basketball knowledge, stemming from his family upbringing, a 15-year NBA playing career and five seasons serving under Bob Myers in our front office. He’s young and energetic, has established numerous relationships around the league and communicates well with players and coaches—all important traits in this business. Mike’s ready for this challenge and responsibility.”
Dunleavy also walks into a tough spot.
He takes over a team with a payroll pushing $240 million — close to $100 million over the salary cap line and $40 million over the second tax apron. The Warriors have a total salary and tax bill of around $450 million, a number too expensive for even Lacob and a free-spending ownership group.
And he’s already getting calls about Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga trades, according to Marc Spears of ESPN’s Andscape.
Dunleavy has some difficult negotiations ahead when you look at the team’s roster.
Stephen Curry is locked in on a four-year, $167.3 million extension but is worth every penny as one of the best players in the league and an anchor of the franchise. Klay Thompson is set to make $43.2 million and is extension eligible, but Dunleavy now has to have a hard conversation with him about extending for less — Thompson is still a quality player but not near a max guy on either end of the court, and the Warriors need him to take a pay cut. Draymond Green is expected to opt out of his $27.6 million player option, and while the Warriors need his defense and passing to win at the highest levels, at age 33 he is going to be asked to extend at maybe a slightly lower price as well (three years, $75 million?
Do the Warriors need to trade Poole if they keep Green, because the chemistry last season was an issue? Poole’s contract extension kicks in next season and his salary jumps from $3.9 million to $28.2 million. Then there is the Kuminga questions, what will he become and can the Warriors wait for it?
The Warriors will look different next season and Dunleavy needs to find some depth to support Curry and the team’s aging core. He’s got to find a way to keep the dominos from all starting to fall, at least for a couple of more years.