When it comes to talking about how to succeed as a franchise in the NBA, you often times would look at the Golden State Warriors & their recent track record over the last decade. For a multitude of reasons to be sure, but the most prominent reason of them all stems from their owner, Joe Lacob, not being afraid to shovel large amounts of money out the proverbial door.
Any owner willing to pay an NBA record $346 million in both payroll & luxury taxes, all in an effort to keep the team both relevant and in the hunt for as many championships as possible, deserves some respect. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, as the saying goes. In the case of the Warriors, that means their way of luxury spending has been nipped in the bud thanks to the NBA’s newly implemented luxury tax rules. These new rules were reportedly set in place over this past summer, with the goal to “level the playing field” as it were.
According to CBS Sports, the new second tax apron includes multiple harsh penalties should any teams end up going over the tax line by more than $17.5 million. The punishment results in teams being unable to trade their first-round pick seven years out, in addition to no longer being able to use mid-level exceptions to acquire new players after passing the first tax apron. Big yikes, to say the least.
Warriors General Manager Mike Dunleavy shared his thoughts on the new rules, which he believes were made specifically to target his team:
“I think first and foremost for Joe [Lacob] and the whole franchise it’s a compliment,” Dunleavy said. “They’re making rules to prevent you from succeeding, and I think that’s the way some of us, certainly Joe sees it as. Financial implications that would maybe keep us from going to a certain level.”
“The rest stuff as well a little bit, it seems to be targeted at a roster similar to ours,” Dunleavy continued on to say.. “So I think first of all you take it as a compliment. Just like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] when they took the dunk out [of college basketball], so you gotta first let it soak in. ‘OK we did something right.’”
In many ways, the NBA’s new luxury tax rules, with the way they are structured to operate, are similar to the NFL’s salary cap. That said, the salary cap for the NFL is not only always fluctuating year-by-year, but it also can be worked around by teams with front offices who know how to find loopholes. Teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles with GM Howie Roseman, and the New Orleans Saints with GM Mickey Loomis & Khai Harley. Lacob & Dunleavy will still put in work to keep the Warriors competitive; it’s simply the matter of how they go about it.