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Lacob explains Warriors' potential ‘big changes,' luxury tax plans

Lacob explains Warriors' potential ‘big changes,' luxury tax plans originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Amid the Warriors' recent resurgence, owner Joe Lacob remains focused on improving the roster -- something he made clear as Golden State reportedly pursued Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward Lebron James before the NBA trade deadline.

While the owner and Warriors brass continuously search the market for upgrades, Lacob is considering expenses and luxury tax concerns.

In talking to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show” on Wednesday, Lacob shared the Warriors’ financial plans enveloping their pricey roster.

“Plan 1A: We’d actually like to be out of the tax, and we think we have a way to do that. That kind of is the plan," Lacob told Kawakami. "Not just on the second apron, and I’ll tell you why that’s important. The truth is, we need to be [below the tax line] two years out of the next four to get this repeater thing off our books -- it’s just so prohibitive. Not say we wouldn’t do it if we had to. But you got to look at what the downside is to doing that.

"So, that’s the plan, to try to do that. And we think we can keep our team together and bring back players at different numbers and so on.”

The Warriors are $88.4 million over the NBA’s 2023-24 salary cap and $23.2 million above the second apron, per Spotrac.

Golden State is paying roughly $118 million for the trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green -- a pricey figure for three players.

While “Plan 1A” doesn’t require drastically changing the roster, Lacob’s second idea likely does.

“Plan 1B is: We can make big changes if we had to," Lacob continued. "If this team were to slide all the way down and not do well at the end of the year, you know there’s going to be big changes. If we do really well, we might decide to go the other way.

"So, everything’s open. We have to be flexible. The goal is to not be a lottery team, ever. The goal is to be competitive. The goal is to win. And ideally, if it’s possible, to win championships or compete for championships.”

While Lacob’s second option understandably is the less favorable between the two, the Warriors must continue their ascent toward the Western Conference’s higher rankings -- ideally within the top six -- to avoid a roster reconstruction.

The Warriors have won five of their last six games and have shown the potential and experience to convince Labon to keep the core intact.

Individually, Lacob remains hopeful his team can make a run within the current and subsequent seasons.

“I do [think we can contend]. I’m actually very positive, probably more positive than some fans might be [or] the media," Lacob said. "Look, I get it. Overall, we haven’t played all that well this year. I think Steve [Kerr] would tell you that, our players would tell you that, Mike [Dunleavy Jr]. But, I still think- maybe I’m delusional a little bit, but I believe in this roster, these players and our coaching staff.

“I really believe that we can make a big run here and it just turns out that just before the trade deadline, magically that’s happening -- we’re causing a couple of things to happen. Draymond’s suspension, ironically, may have long-term made us better, in an odd sort of way.”

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