NBA Rumors: Golden State Warriors reportedly saved $60 million in luxury tax payments and salary after letting go two key players

2022 NBA Finals - Game Six, TD Garden, Boston.
2022 NBA Finals - Game Six, TD Garden, Boston.

The Golden State Warriors have reportedly saved $60 million in luxury tax and salary payments after letting Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. leave.

For anyone curious in terms of the difference in cost.Combined 22/23 salary of Gary Payton II + Otto Porter Jr: $14.3MCombined 22/23 salary of Donte DiVincenzo + JaMychal Green: $6.3MPlus a luxury tax difference of: $52.6M

The Warriors have already logged record tax-payments in previous years. Coupled with the aforementioned $60 million, Golden State's total payroll would have sky-rocketed to more than $400 million in 2022.

Being a repeat tax-offender, the Warriors have it much worse than many teams around the league.

Payton signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. The breakup of Payton's contract:

2024-25$9,130,000 (Player-option)
2025 (Unrestricted free-agent)-

Otto Porter Jr., on the other hand, signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, worth $12,300,000. Porter Jr.'s contract breakdown:

2024 (Unrestricted free-agent)-

Both Porter Jr. and Payton were signed using the mid-level exception.

Payton and Porter: Golden State Warriors' offseason so far

Gary Payton II, Stephen Curry and Otto Porter Jr.
Gary Payton II, Stephen Curry and Otto Porter Jr.

The Golden State Warriors have already lost two key pieces in their rotation.

Coming off the bench, Gary Payton II played a crucial role as a wing defender and also started as the center of their small-ball lineup. Payton's lob throwdowns made for some of the most memorable Golden State Warriors moments this season.

Standing at six-foot-three, Payton's prowess in defending much bigger players proved invaluable. His height allowed him to get much lower than his opponents, making dribbling a nightmare. He averaged 2.8 steals per 36 minutes in the regular season and 3.4 steals per 36 minutes in the playoffs.

Porter Jr., on the other hand, brought a different skill-set to the Warriors. Standing at six-foot-eight, his size and rebounding were assets on defense. His timely three-point shooting helped the team on offense. He shot 37% from three-point range last season, and is a career 39.8% three-point shooter.

The path forward for Golden State is murky. They have just won an NBA championship, and reports indicated that letting Payton get away was not a popular decision among the players.

One key thing to note here is that Payton wasn't even supposed to play for the Warriors this season, let alone be a key part of a championship roster. Draymond Green and Stephen Curry convinced the front-office to take on Payton's contract.

With the return of Wiseman, the Warriors will inevitably be counting on their top draft-picks to blossom into reliable rotation players.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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