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LAS VEGAS – Blame LeBron James if you must, for he seemed to have held hostage most of the NBA, but the Warriors came up empty Thursday night in their final, futile attempts to utilize the Traded Player Exception.
Mostly, though, it was the Warriors backing themselves into a salary-cap corner and not finding an easy way out.
The TPE, which became available to the Warriors through the sign-and-trade deal to acquire Andre Iguodala, expired at 9 p.m. (PDT) Thursday. The TPE value was $9.8 million.
What does it mean for the Warriors?
For one, it reaffirms their commitment to staying below the luxury tax line. They are roughly $5.9 million under.
For two, it almost certainly forces the Warriors to fill out their roster with players willing to accept minimum-level salaries to play for a team on the rise.
Or as Iguodala might say: Take less money to play exciting basketball with a playoff-caliber team; I did.
The TPE was a "gift'' to the Warriors for unloading Richard Jefferson (and Andris Biedrins) in the deal that landed Iguodala. The Warriors had one calendar year to use it; Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the sign-and-trade deal.