The trade deadline has come and gone and the Golden State Warriors kept most of the team together moving forward, but the Warriors front office did a little bit of work just before the deadline.
To avoid paying the luxury tax for this season, the Warriors shed about $1.5 million from their payroll when they needed to cut only $1.2 million to avoid the tax.
The two players who the Warriors dealt for salary cap relief were second-year players Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler (h/t the Associated Press via ESPN.com).
Was it wise to ship away these two players?
Pro Side of the Trade
For every league year that a team pays luxury tax, they pay an additional fee for being a repeat offender. With the Warriors possibly paying the tax next year to keep the team intact, avoiding the tax now helps them not pay the repeater fee next year.
Also, in exchange for Jenkins and Tyler, the Warriors received future draft considerations. The Warriors are low on draft picks with their first-round pick this year going to the Utah Jazz, so the team could surely use more picks.
By getting back into compliance with the salary cap, the Warriors have enough spare cap space to go get a free agent. Any player the Warriors pick up now could have more of a role than either Tyler or Jenkins.
Con Side of the Trade
For a team that has as many injury worries as the Warriors have, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry being the first two who come to mind, the Warriors could use depth—and they just gave up a guard in Jenkins and a center in Tyler. Even though both players are far down the depth chart, having them as insurance doesn't hurt.
On the subject of depth, Jarrett Jack, the man who made Jenkins easy to forget about, is a free agent at the end of the season. There is also a player option for Carl Landry, one of the men who made Tyler easy to forget about. If both Jack and Landry leave as free agents, the Warriors will really start to run low on depth.
The luxury tax may not be quite as big of a deal as it is made out to be. Especially with the billionaire ownership group led by Joe Lacob which plans to build a privately financed arena in San Francisco.
If they can afford an arena, is the tax that much of a financial restraint?
The Warriors received draft considerations in both trades and also gave away cash considerations in each deal. Although Tyler and Jenkins were buried on the Warriors depth chart, they both had great potential for the future. If one or both turn out to be great players in the NBA, the Warriors will be the team that paid other teams to take those players for nothing better than a second-round draft pick.
With all the dust settled from the trade deadline, I think the Warriors were right to not give away a player like Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes in a big-name trade. The Warriors have a solid core and should be legitimate contenders for a championship soon enough.
As for the Warriors trades of Tyler and Jenkins, time will tell whether or not the Warriors gave up the wrong players in order to avoid the luxury tax.