$trength in Numbers: Warriors, Do the Math


This week, we are doing something a little different on Fangirl Sports Network. Salary caps and numbers are not everyone’s favorite thing to discuss in sports, but, they are relevant to Dub Nation.

Fans have to wonder whether or not the Golden State Warriors can keep this super team together and if so, how long can they sustain it?

At the end of this 2017 season, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston will become free agents. And, although Kevin Durant’s contract expires next year, he has an out option at the end of this season.

It’s a rare thing in the NBA for a superstar to get the supporting cast he needs and a system that maximizes his strengths. LeBron James left Cleveland because he couldn’t find it. He took matters into his own hands and plotted a union with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

In contrast, the Golden State Warriors have embraced what Curry could do instead of being deterred by what he couldn’t. Building around Curry, Kerr’s motion offense created a flow that played right into the hands of Curry and his teammates. The Dubs love forwards who can dribble like guards which makes the opposing teams “big men play on the perimeter.”

Like a boss!

A post shared by Golden State Warriors (@warriors) on

The Warriors play a different brand of basketball without the real use of a traditional big man. Golden State had planned for years to get Kevin Durant to be the final component of their death lineup. And, when they made their pitch, they did it as a team.

Durant knows Curry is committed long-term to the Warriors. These two, along with Green, Thompson and Iguodala are the big players in keeping this team relevant for years on end.

There is no way the Warriors can ask Curry to take less than the maximum when the entire team has been built around him. And, Durant has publicly stated he wants to keep this group together. This leads most to believe he is willing to take a nominal increase in salary for the sake of, as KD put it, “see[ing]how far [they]can go with this [team].”

If KD is willing to take a bit less, the Warriors would not have to fit him into cap space and then could use Bird Rights** to re-sign Iguodala and Livingston above and beyond the cap.

And, there you have it, a recipe for multiple championships! Well done, Warriors!

** the Larry Bird exception allows teams to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own free agents, at an amount up to the maximum salary. To qualify as a Bird free agent, a player must have played three seasons without being waived or changing teams as a free agent.

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Photo Credit

  • Steph Curry on flickr by Ketih Allison
  • Andre Iguodala on flickr by Keith Allison
  • Shaun Livingston on flickr by Keith Allison
  • Kevin Durant image on flickr by Keith Allison
  • Draymond Green posted on flickr by Ketih Allison
  • Klay Thompson image on flickr by Keith Allison
  • Draymond Green posted on flickr by Ketih Allison

About Author

Stephanie McCarroll

Bringing you the latest news and commentary on the team I’ve loved forever, the Golden State Warriors.

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