The premise of this article is interesting, but it misses badly on a few significant points as pertains to KD and the Warriors.
Maxing out KD would have actually SAVED the Warriors owners money. Had KD pushed the Warriors owners for a full max, they obviously would have agreed and paid him the (roughly) $9.5m more without hesitation. However, in order to do so, they would have had to renounce their Bird rights for both Iguodala and Livingston to get under the cap. Without those Bird rights they wouldn’t have been able to pay Iggy or Livingston more than the vets minimum.
KD came to the Warriors last month and offered to take a pay cut and sign for less than market value if GS ownership agreed that they would do whatever they could to resign key teammates. The Warriors brass agreed and did.
The actual flow of money was from KD to Iggy/Livingston. Iggy ended up getting a 3 year $48m deal — which was apparently a significant amount higher than any other offer from other suitors.
The Warriors owners are paying huge luxury taxes to keep the core of the championship team together. They have not skimped one bit to do what they can to win a championship (as evidenced by spending $3.5m for a 2nd rounder — the 3rd time they have purchased a draft pick in as many years). In 2 years, Golden State will most likely have the highest payroll in the history of pro sports — possibly in the range of $400m/year when luxury tax is factored in.
As for those fees being passed on to the fans, unfortunately that is inevitable. But ticket prices are more reliant on supply/demand vs. short-term fluctuations in payroll.
The truth is, the Warriors owners could cut corners and still rise prices if they want. They have a 40,000 person waitlist for season tickets and routinely sell out The Oracle Arena whether the team is good or bad.
The Bay Area has been gentrifying at an astronomical rate for 3 decades now. And as much as we would nostalgically like to avoid pricing out “the average fan”, the rules of supply and demand make this unrealistic.
With GS set to move into an amazing new facility in 2019, prices were going to go through the roof no matter what. As a Warriors fan, I am just happy to see our owners investing back into the team in an effort to maximize our chances or taking down another title or two while our window is open.
To me, the real a-holes are the billionaire owners that are focused on the bottom line only -the guys that are content sit at the salary floor, rake in their annual luxury tax payment from teams like the Warriors, whine about being in a small market with the deck stacked against them, and sell the BS hope that they are just waiting for their window to make their move.