Why Heat Coach Erick Spoelstra's record deal is bad news for Warriors and great for Spurs

Erick Spoelstra, Gregg Popovich
Erick Spoelstra, Gregg Popovich / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat coach Erick Spoelstra is $120 million richer after signing an 8-year extension with the team. Spoelstra has already been with their organization for more than 27 years in total, including his time as an assistant, and will be there for the rest of the decade, ensuring that Heat Culture will continue.

While that is great for the Heat, the Golden State Warriors—specifically ownership and GM Mike Dunleavy Jr.—might not be as happy. After all, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is in the final year of his contract and if Spo was able to command $120 million as a two-time champion, then Kerr could really clean up as a four-time champion.

There have already been rumblings that he could leave Golden State after this season. And if his asking price goes way up as a result of Spo's contract and he and the Warriors can't agree to a deal, then it could result in the end of an era for Golden State.

Why the Spurs could indirectly benefit from Spoelstra's new contract.

Meanwhile, Coach Gregg Popovich is in his 28th season with the San Antonio Spurs. While he might stick around for a couple of years to coach Victor Wembanyama, once he calls it a career, the Spurs job would be the most attractive in the NBA.

In addition to coaching a once-in-a-generation type of player, there would appear to be job security with the Spurs, since they are not ones to clean house when things go wrong. If Kerr indeed leaves the Warriors, he may opt to take a year or even two off, knowing that he would be a prime candidate to replace Pop.

Not only due to his resume and the fact that he won a championship with the Spurs but also his relationship with Popovich. In fact, Popovich is sure to have a say in who replaces him and may even be their boss, assuming that he returns to the front office after he retires. Kerr would be around 60 at that time, young enough to coach Wembanyama through his prime and potentially help guide him and the Spurs back to playoff success.

Ultimately, Spoelstra's record-setting contract could increase the chances that the Warriors and Kerr don't agree to terms on a new deal. That may eventually lead to Kerr being Popovich's successor in San Antonio.