The Warriors have reportedly pulled off a maneuver to free up some desperately needed flexibility to fill out the roster.
Instead of signing free agent Andre Iguodala, the Warriors will now acquire him via sign-and-trade with Denver, as Yahoo! Sports first reported. Denver, who lost to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, was first unwilling to work a deal to help Golden State. But with their eyes on Utah guard Randy Foye, the Nuggets are consenting to a three-team deal with the Warriors and Jazz.
Golden State’s original deal remains in tact: Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush — along with 2014 and 2017 first-round picks, and two second round picks. With the Warriors only getting the non-guaranteed contract of Kevin Murphy in return, they’d also get Trade Player Exception(s) worth more than $23 million.
The trade with the Jazz drops the Warriors salary cap number down to about $48 million including the non-guaranteed contracts of Murphy, Kent Bazemore, Scott Machado and Dwayne Jones. But with the cap holds of guard Jarrett Jack ($8.1 million), Carl Landry ($4.8 million) and draft pick Nemamja Nedovic, the Warriors are still considered over the cap.
Previously, the plan was to renounce Jack and Landry — and possibly cut the non-guaranteed contracts of Murphy, Machado and Jones — to get the Warriors under the cap enough to sign Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million. But doing that would leave the Warriors with ZERO cap space. What’s more, they would have had to give up their mid-level exception, rookie exception and the trade exceptions they received from Utah. Golden State would only have minimum contracts and a $2.6 million “room exception” to fill out its roster.
To prevent that, the Warriors instead will sign-and-trade for Iguodala. This prevents renouncing Jack and Landry and their exceptions. (Though both have already agreed to sign elsewhere. Though not official, don’t expect either to come back to GSW) The Nuggets will also get Foye from Utah in a sign-and-trade (for three years, $9 million, per the Deseret News). The Warriors will send another second-round pick (2018) to Utah.
In the end, Golden State will have the mid-level exception, which allows them to sign a player for more than $5 million in the first year, and the rookie exception, which allows them to sign Nedovic despite being over the cap. The Warriors also get to keep their Traded Player Exception(s), which allows them to absorb up to $23 million in contracts of players from another team. (NOTE: There is a chance they use a chunk of that TPE money on Iguodala.)
Using the sign-and-trade, however, means Golden State will have a hard cap. New CBA rules state that teams receiving a player in a sign-and-trade cannot for any reason go more than more than $4 million above the luxury tax line – which is expected to be $75.6 million.
The Warriors are at about $59 million, including non-guaranteed contracts and Iguodala’s first year is just shy of $12 million. That would leave Golden State about $16 million of room to add players, including the MLE to sign a free-agent. Even more if they cut the non-guaranteed contracts of Scott Machado, Dwayne Jones and Kevin Murphy.