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Joe Lacob on If Warriors ‘Bought’ NBA Title: ‘That’s a Joke; I Think It’s Ridiculous’

Joe Lacob on If Warriors ‘Bought’ NBA Title: ‘That’s a Joke; I Think It’s Ridiculous’

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Golden State Warriors governor Joe Lacob doesn’t agree with the notion the team “bought” its NBA title.

“Oh, come on,” Lacob said after the team’s clinching Game 6 win over the Boston Celtics, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “That’s a joke; I think it’s ridiculous. All of our players are guys that we drafted or minimum signings except for one (Wiggins) trade. One trade and no free agent beyond the minimum. How can you say we bought the title? It’s crazy.”

The Warriors did have the highest payroll in the NBA this season at over $184 million, per Spotrac. Of course, most of that was spent retaining its homegrown core in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Andrew Wiggins was the only other Warriors player making more than $10 million this season, and he was acquired in a 2020 trade for D’Angelo Russell.

Wiggins did make a significant impact this season, earning his first All-Star selection while coming up big on both ends of the court during the NBA Finals. On the other hand, few wanted the 2014 No. 1 overall pick when he was available in a trade, and the Minnesota Timberwolves had to attach a first-round pick to deal him.

Even Thompson’s latest contract came after he tore an ACL, and it was no guarantee another team would have offered a max deal if he hit the open market.

The Warriors were willing to take a chance with these large contracts, and it paid off with the franchise’s fourth title in the last eight years.

Paying big salaries also didn’t help other teams win. The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves also ranked in the top four in payroll in 2021-22 but none advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers ranked sixth in the category and finished 33-49.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported rival teams were “grumbling about Golden State’s competitive spending advantage.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst called it a “checkbook win” for the Warriors.

The organization still didn’t do anything out of the norm, except draft well and show a willingness to take risks and pay the luxury tax.

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