NBA mailbag: Are Warriors in luxury tax or not?


NBA mailbag: Are Warriors in luxury tax or not?

Mailtime I was wondering what the salary capluxury taximplications are for the Warriors after signing Carl Landry and re-signingBrandon Rush. Wont the combined salaries of Landry and Rush push the Warriorsinto the luxury tax? Mark, Bay Area.Steinmetz: All right, heres the thing about theluxury tax and where the Warriors are it doesnt matter right now; you could argue it's irrelevant.Yes, the Warriors are into the tax right now as of Aug. 3 but they have more than eight months to get under the tax if need be. And inall probability and likelihood, when push comes to shove in mid-April theWarriors wont be in the tax.There are countless ways the Warriors could get back underthe tax, and theyve clearly left themselves wiggle room to get under or, tobe fair, go deeper into the tax if they want.It still remains remote that the Warriors will end up in theluxury tax 70.3 million -- when the appropriate time comes to compute suchthings (April 17). If you want the biggest reason why the Warriors won't be a tax team this season it's this: They don't need to be. And I'm right with them on that one.Right now, the Warriors are said to be approximately400,000 over the tax. That would mean they would have to pay a 400,000penalty, but more important they wouldnt be allowed to receive their share ofthe revenue collected from tax-paying teams that then gets disbursed tonon-taxpaying teams.When you think about it that way, you can be giving upmillions and millions of dollars.Just cant see that happening. Then again, Ill say this:the fact that were even addressing whether or not the Warriors could go intothe luxury tax is a positive change from the past.So, if the Warriors dont bring back DominicMcGuire, who do you think will? Im sure hell be picked up by someone.Matthew, San FranciscoWashington, D.C.Steinmetz: Heres the thing about McGuire he hadmore of a role than he should have had with the Warriors last season. Andbecause he had more of a role than he should have had, he got an opportunity todo some things (like play point forward and be on the court during crunch time,etc.) that he wouldnt ordinarily have had.Did he prove he could do them? Well, yes, but keep in mindhe was doing them for a team that finished 23-43, and not really even that goodthe final month-plus of the season.What Im getting to here is that I believe McGuiresrelevance on the team last year was skewed because of all the injuries and theopportunities he received. In all likelihood, hes not going to receive themthis year.Also, the Warriors have a re-signed Rush, a second-yearplayer in Klay Thompson, a rookie in Harrison Barnes, a second rookie they likein Draymond Green and a legitimate backup four in Carl Landry. Im not surethat I want McGuire taking minutes from any of those guys specialist ornot.The reality is that McGuire wasnt on a roster last yearwhen the Warriors brought him in. Even coach Mark Jackson would refer to him asa guy who was just sitting around When the Warriors signed McGuire.Taking nothing away from the season McGuire had a year ago,Im just not sure hes as good of a fit on this years team as last. Plus, Imnot saying McGuire isnt good enough to be in the league; in fact, where Ireally seem him fitting in is on an elite-type team.By what general manager Bob Myers said, it seemslike if the Warriors dont make the playoffs Mark Jackson is gone. Do youagree? Daniel, California.Steinmetz: Without trying to be cute or making funof your question because it is a good one Id say this: Welcome to theNBA.Facts are facts and NBA coaches dont have unlimited lifespans. Mark Jackson, whether it was his fault or not, coached the Warriors to a23-43 record in 2011-12.Its only fair, particularly after the offseason theWarriors had, to expect and even demand more. Lets face it, if the Warriorsarent in the Western Conference playoff hunt this upcoming season it meansthat something went drastically wrong.So you know what? Yes, I think if the Warriors dont makethe playoffs Jackson could be in trouble. How could he not be in this day andage of the NBA? Heck, he could be in trouble if the Warriors are doing poorlyhalfway through the season.But that goes for plenty of NBA coaches.Is there pressure on Mark Jackson? Yes, there is. More thanlast year? Yes, definitely. But thats the way it should be when the team yourecoaching clearly improved in the offseason.

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing


Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

There is a single reason teams keep sniffing out the availability of Klay Thompson, and it’s far more easily understood than the myriad reasons the Warriors keep telling them no.

No fewer than four teams have either reached out or considered reaching out, the latest being revealed as the detested Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors, of course, declined them, perhaps after general manager Bob Myers put Cavs GM Koby Altman on speakerphone so everybody at Warriors HQ could double over with team-building laughter.

The Cavs got the same answer as was previously heard by the Pacers and the Timberwolves, and maybe even the Celtics, whose interest was rumored though never actually substantiated.

All four teams, though, along with maybe few others, all reached the same conclusion. They looked at the Warriors, studied their prime core, and concluded that Thompson was the most available member.

Clearly more available than Stephen Curry, who is the face of the franchise.

Likely more available than Draymond Green, whose two-way versatility and temperament are vital to the grand ambitions of the Warriors.

And infinitely more available than Kevin Durant, who arrived two years after Minnesota shot its shot -- by dangling Kevin Love -- and evolved into their most impressive overall player.

So it’s Thompson who gets his tires kicked. He’s 27 years old, has two years remaining on his contract and, most germane, seems to be the least emotionally invested star in the organization. That is may not be true, but it’s an easy conclusion based on appearances and the misguided thought that the Warriors don’t value him as much as they do the others.


“It's really cool,” Thompson said Wednesday, referring to being pursued and prized. “It shows the Warriors believe in me and these other teams want me to be a part of their success. So I appreciate it. I've been in trade rumors forever. Everyone has. Except for maybe LeBron James, Steph — well, even Steph early in his career.”

Any team that asks about Thompson is aware that the Thompson-Love deal gained considerable traction in 2014 before it was vetoed by then-adviser Jerry West and newly hired head coach Steve Kerr.

If the Warriors were thinking about it then, why not later?

They have their reasons, beginning with the fact they’ve experienced more success over the past three seasons than at any time in franchise history, winning two championships in three seasons and becoming a regular in the NBA Finals. Why even consider breaking the squad that so clearly is the cream of the NBA?

Another reason is that the Warriors have come to fully understand Thompson’s role in their competitive prosperity. He’s a gunslinger that manages to be highly productive without spending much time with the ball, and his fabulous defense makes that end of the court so much easier for Curry. The Thompson-Curry backcourt is the best in the league and already in the discussion for the best ever.

There is another component that is rather understated. Thompson is the ultimate zero-maintenance All-Star. In a locker room of varied personalities, some loud, nearly all opinionated, he’s like a breeze that is cool enough be felt yet never so much it feels imposing.

The Warriors have come to appreciate Thompson being the closest thing to a wind-up All-Star in a league where that is exceedingly rare. Give him a jersey, a ball and some shoes and let him go.

So, no, he’s not leaving anytime soon. The only way he goes before he becomes a free agent in 2019 -- at which time he’s likely to take a peep around the NBA -- is if the Warriors somehow take a tumble in the standings or try to low-ball him.

Until then, teams may continue to ask. They have to as a strategy to improve themselves while diminishing the league’s powerhouse. Understanding this, the Warriors will take the calls and appreciate the humor of it all.

Former Warriors forward wins BIG3’s Best Trash Talker


Former Warriors forward wins BIG3’s Best Trash Talker

Stephen Jackson is known as one of the biggest characters in Warriors history. 

The 14-year NBA veteran always let you know what he was thinking. Some things never change. 

Jackson, now playing for the Killer 3s in the BIG3, was awarded the league's Best Trash Talker award on Wednesday. 

Serving as the Killer 3s co-captain with Chauncey Billups, Jackson is currently leading the league in scoring. At 39 years old, Jackson is averaging 21.6 points per game over 31.7 minutes per game. 

In four seasons with the Warriors, Jackson poured in 19.4 points and 5.0 assists per game. Over 14 years in the NBA, he averaged 15.1 points per game. 

Former Warriors big man Al Harrington was voted Too Hard to Guard with his 15.3 points per game.