While the Warriors continue one of the most historic runs in the history of Bay Area sports, the work of the front office isn’t put under the same spotlight.
Much of the contract talks Warriors fans have been discussing since the second half of the season took off is that of Draymond Green’s. He isn’t the only forward the Warriors might be looking to keep around.
It was announced Saturday afternoon that the Warriors and Harrison Barnes are mutually seeking a contract extension. Barnes is a player who has been of the most consistent year after year in the postseason, and the Warriors should make sure he gets the proper re-up.
Barnes came out of the same draft class that reaped several benefits for the Warriors, with the selections of Festus Ezeli (No. 30), Draymond Green (No. 35), and Barnes (No. 7). These are all home-grown players, and it would make best sense to keep the trio around. Ezeli’s contract will of course be one of the most affordable.
With all the talk of Green potentially being a max-contract player, Bay Area fans are now debating what they think Barnes is worth. He certainly will not command max money, but an estimation between the $10-$12 million range would be a reasonable assessment. He is worth this price tag, and there is no doubt the Warriors can afford it.
The Warriors have players that are coming up with expiring contracts that will also be commanding less money, and have other players — like Barnes — that will remain tradable assets. With the current pieces in place, Golden State has established themselves as a team that can make at minimum 3 or 4 championship runs in the coming years.
The only real question that remains is who should the Warriors extend first? The answer is easy Harrison Barnes. With performances such as his 24-point game in the series clincher against Houston, and the tremendous defense we saw from him in the Memphis series, he has proven his worth to this team.
While it’s important to focus on the task at hand, it can also be used as a tactic. With the Warriors just 3 wins from the NBA Title, surely Barnes will think about the shiny new ring going on his finger and how many more he can win should he decide to stick around. If the Warriors and Barnes can’t reach an agreement for a new contract, he’d be free to seek one elsewhere. Golden State would have the opportunity to match, but could risk overpaying. With the announcement of the raise of the salary cap the Warriors are looking at about having $72 million committed under the hypothetical numbers of Thompson and Green equaling about $32 million, and another $40 million going to Curry, Bogut, Iguodala and Livingston. That leaves the team about $28 million in space before having to pay the luxury tax.
The direction of Warriors general manager Bob Meyers should be pretty clear in this situation.