The Golden State Warriors’ spending spree expands their title window

Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors signing of Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins to a pair of 4-year, $100 million contract extensions took the NBA world by surprise. While Poole’s was somewhat expected, the price tag of $140 million certainly raised eyebrows. Then, a couple of hours later, they shocked everyone by inking Wiggins to a $109 million extension that will pay him $27.7 million on average and keep him in the Bay Area for the next five years.

Considering the Golden State Warriors already had a sky-high payroll and an outrageous luxury tax bill, most, including me, thought that the team would exercise caution when doling out more money. Boy, were we wrong. The Warriors, apparently, are comfortable with paying $500 million in payroll and luxury tax next season after extending Poole and Wiggins, but notably didn’t come to terms on an extension with Draymond Green.

That suggests that they’re making plans to move forward without Green, who’s been in decline for several seasons now and brought unnecessary attention to the team when he punched Poole. Moving forward without him is risky, but the  Golden State Warriors are clearly thinking about the long-term, and Green seemingly doesn’t fit with those plans.

The Golden State Warriors’ new strategy

With Steph Curry turning 35 and Klay Thompson turning 33 next season, the prevailing thought was that the team was entering the twilight years of their dynasty. However, now that it’s clear that the Warriors are unafraid to spend, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Poole is just 23, locked up for 5 years, and coming off a terrific season in which he averaged 18.5 points and 4.3 assists. With both his future with the team and his role set in stone, Poole could build off his breakout season and be even more impactful going forward.

Meanwhile, Wiggins emerged as an all-star last season but is really more of a third or fourth option on the team behind Curry, Thompson, and possibly Poole. Having Wiggins as a third or fourth option is an embarrassment of riches and something that most teams can’t afford, but he came in handy during the NBA Finals when he put the clamps on Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

If that weren’t enough, the Warriors also have several recent lottery picks on their roster, including Kuminga, James Wiseman, and Moses Moody. Additionally, they have promising rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr., who was previously considered a top-10 pick in this year’s draft before sliding to the Warriors. That’s a terrific young core and, frankly, better than some rebuilding teams’ young cores.

Golden State has the star power and the young talent to win-now and compete going forward.

With a mix of aging yet still effective superstars, secondary stars, and an impressive young group of role players, the Golden State Warriors window is definitely still ajar and seems likely to extend further than most imagined that it would. Curry’s game will likely age well. Indeed, it has, implying that he may be able to maintain his current level of play for a few more seasons. Meanwhile, Thompson will likely look better than he did last season after returning from a pair of injuries that kept him out for two and a half years.

While recovering from those injuries was no stroll in the park, they did keep him from accruing more wear and tear on his body and could keep him playing well into his 30s. Recent NBA history also supports the idea of Curry and Thompson playing well well into their 30s, and it’s bad news for the rest of the league, who probably presumed that the luxury tax and father time would stop the team’s reign of dominance.

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Instead, the Golden State Warriors’ run could easily extend into the middle of this decade, further even. That could force teams that were taking a passive strategy to push their chips in and make win-now moves to try and compete with the Warriors going forward.