NBA rumors: Rivals 'grumbling' about Warriors' spending advantage

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Report: Rivals 'grumbling' about Warriors' spending advantage originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals, which means it’s about that time when talk throughout the league resurfaces about how exactly Golden State has done it again.

From the 73-9 behemoth to the “villains” with Kevin Durant, the Warriors have long driven ire across the NBA – fans, players and executives alike – for tilting the landscape of the league.

That appears to have happened again after the Warriors have made their sixth Finals appearance in the past eight years, with rivals “already grumbling about Golden State's competitive spending advantage,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported Tuesday, citing sources. Lowe notes the Warriors are paying a league-record $346 million in salary this season, due to max contracts for Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins.

Meanwhile, it could get even higher in the future. Jordan Poole is eligible for a big extension this summer, and Wiggins only has one year left on his deal. If the Warriors want to keep the band together for the next few years -- which could include potential new contracts for Gary Payton II and Kevon Looney -- Lowe writes that ESPN’s Bobby Marks predicted that their payroll could hit an astronomical $475 million, including luxury tax penalties.

While owner Joe Lacob has long said the Warriors’ spending isn’t limitless -- keep in mind the team drafted two young rookies instead of trading the picks for veteran help -- it’s clear that the value of winning and extending the Dubs’ window for years to come is of the utmost importance.

"I know we -- I, [general manager Bob Myers], the organization -- took some criticism from some people that we should trade all the draft pieces that we have to get one more great player or whatever," Lacob said last week. "I was very adamant about it, and so was Bob. That was not the path that we were going down.

"We want to be good for a long time, we want to be great for a long time."

RELATED: Why Warriors' monumental trade for Wiggins nearly didn't happen

The Warriors are fortunate that they have an ownership group that is willing to spend well into the luxury tax to put this team on the floor, while many other ownership groups for opposing teams do not. That certainly puts Golden State at an advantage, but one that they should have no need to apologize for.

In the mean time, the Warriors plan to keep spending in order to always put a winning product on the floor, and will happily deal with any “grumblings” from rivals as long as the deep playoff runs keep coming.

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