Lacob: Keeping Warriors' core intact long term will be 'really difficult'
Although the Golden State Warriors are merely weeks removed from winning their fourth NBA championship in eight seasons, questions about the team's roster already loom large.
When asked about his franchise's ability to retain its nucleus of stars and rising prospects beyond next season, team owner Joe Lacob was unable to make a commitment.
"It's going to be difficult," Lacob told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. "I'm not going to sit here and lie to the fan base. It's going to be really difficult to figure out what we'll do next summer. This year, we're good. I'll call this 'running it back.'"
Golden State returns the majority of its core from last season's title team but lost key role players Gary Payton, Otto Porter, and Nemanja Bjelica.
However, the organization will have much larger contracts to worry about after the 2022-23 campaign. Finals standout Andrew Wiggins will be an unrestricted free agent, while rising star Jordan Poole will be a restricted free agent and is poised to earn significantly more than the $11.7 million he's slated to make next season.
"We'd love to retain them. But this becomes the problem going forward when you have a team like ours when you've got three guys that have been with us a long time," Lacob said regarding Poole and Wiggins.
With the Big Three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green set to make over $122 million in 2023-24, should Green accept his player option, the team's flexibility for its other players will be limited.
Should the Warriors look to retain both Poole and Wiggins while maintaining their veteran superstars, their cap sheet could move beyond $400 million with the added luxury tax, something Lacob admits is "not possible."