Charles Barkley reveals the 1 problem he thinks can prevent the Golden State Warriors from winning even more NBA titles
Charles Barkley once said he didn’t believe a jump team could win an NBA championship. Eight years and four titles later, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have proven Chuck wrong. Plus, the Warriors trusted Barkley, and he thinks they can win even more titles. However, the all-time great analyst-turned-analyst thinks there’s one thing that can stop them: “Dollars.”
The Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA and are preparing well for the future
NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum presented Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob with the Larry O’Brien Trophy on Thursday and cemented the team as the best of the 2021-22 season.
The title was Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr’s fourth (with six Finals appearances) in eight years. Despite what Bill Simmons may think, it’s a dynasty.
What makes this title even more impressive is the depth the Warriors have returned to after their last NBA Finals appearance in 2019. Curry only played five games and Thompson played none all season. next. The team went 15-50, the NBA’s second-worst record that season. A year later, the team improved to 39-33 but still lost in the NBA Play-In tournament.
The silver lining of those difficult seasons is that they allowed the Warriors to replenish themselves with young talent.
Over the past three seasons, Golden State has added Jordan Poole (who turns 23 on June 19), James Wiseman (21), Jonathan Kuminga (19), and Moses Moody (20).
Poole has become a star this season, averaging 18.5 points, 4.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds and shooting 36.4 percent from behind the arc. He also stepped up in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. In his first-ever playoff game, he dropped 30 points against the Denver Nuggets and had a 31-point second-round performance against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Wiseman, Kuminga and Moody have yet to do what Poole did, but they are young and full of potential.
In addition to the core of Curry (34), Thompson (32), and Green (32), the franchise has also brought in several key players. Andrew Wiggins (27), Kevon Looney (26) and Gary Payton II are all in their prime and should continue to improve and help the organization continue their wins.
Charles Barkley thinks the only thing that will stop the Warriors from winning more titles is money
Charles Barkley joined the Pat McAfee Show the day after the Golden State Warriors won the 2021-22 NBA title to discuss the big W.
McAfee asked Barkley what could prevent the Warriors from winning more titles. He mentioned the rebuilding of the team with high picks in recent years, Curry’s dominance and Thompson’s return after missing two seasons.
Barkley said winning more titles “will come down to the young guys” with the aging core. More than that, however, it’s about paying off this young talent in the years to come:
It will depend on the number of guys [the Warriors are] ready to pay. You saw in the locker room last night, [Andrew] Wiggins and Jordan Poole were talking about “We’re gonna get paid now!” Hey, look, they can’t pay everyone. They already go three guys max. What are they willing to pay, in terms of luxury taxes, to pay Wiggins, to pay Poole? They still have Wiseman and Kuminga. … So for me it will depend on the dollars, how long they can keep this race going.
Charles Barkley on the Golden State Warriors
The NBA had to create a rule called “The Larry Bird Exception” for the Boston Celtics in the 1980s. And for anyone who saw the last danceyou know the Chicago Bulls dynasty was at least partially built on Scottie Pippen being criminally underpaid at the end.
Former Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat championship coach Pat Riley even came up with a name for players wanting to get paid after winning a championship. He called it “The disease of me.”
Whatever you call it, Barkley is at least partially right. Keeping the larger core of this Warriors team together in the next few years will cost owner Joe Lacob a lot of money.
Joe Lacob is not afraid to spend money on his team
Owner Joe Lacob, minority owner Peter Gruber and general manager Bob Meyers have paid more money to NBA players over the past five seasons than any other team. Spotrac reports that between 2017 and 2022, the franchise ranked first or second in payroll each season.
The Golden State Warriors have paid a staggering $756 million in player salaries over the past five seasons. It’s not just the No. 1 in the NBA. That’s a whopping $74 million After than any other organization.
For context, the Miami Heat are the No. 2 team with $682 million, and the Dallas Mavericks paid the least at $509 million.
Curry is entering the first year of a four-year, $215.3 million extension next season. Thompson has two years and $83.8 million remaining on his contract, and Green’s contract has a guaranteed year at $25.8 million and a 2023-24 player option for $27.5.
Next season, the NBA’s salary cap is $122 million and the luxury tax threshold is $149 million.
With just Steph, Draymond and Klay, the Warriors have $114.4 next season on just those three guys.
With the NBA’s salary cap working, the Warriors can probably afford all the players they need to win. However, this will cost Lacob and Gruber a boatload of luxury taxes. We’ll see if they continue to pony up or if Charles Barley is finally right with his concern.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference
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