By: Ben Meyerson
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To understand why the Warriors are able to sign DeMarcus Cousins, we need to take a step back. The collective bargaining agreement that was signed before the summer of 2016 has allowed the Warriors to sign both KD and Boogie.
Under the previous CBA the salary cap was $70 million with a hard cap of $84 million, the players union and the league agreed that the salary cap should rise since the league had recently gotten new TV contracts with ESPN, ABC and TNT. So the players and the league agreed the players should get more money, the players wanted the salary cap to increase by 35% in one year and the league wanted to gradually increase the salary cap year over year until it eventually increased to the number the players wanted. The players won and the salary cap increased from $70 million to $94 million.
This lead to the summer of 2016 where there were the infamous Timofey Mozgov (4 years/$64 million), Luol Deng (4 years/$72 million) and Chandler Parsons contracts (4 years/$94 million) along with horrible contracts like:
- Nicolas Batum- 5 years/$120 million
- Al Jefferson- 3 years/$30 million
- Evan Turner- 4 years/$70 million
- Dwight Howard- 3 years/$70 million
- Joakim Noah- 4 years/$72 million
- Bismack Biyombo- 4 years/ $72 million
There was another notable contract, Kevin Durant to the Warriors for 2 years/$54 million.
via Slam Magazine
The Warriors were coming off a Historic 73-9 season in which they lost in Game 7 of the finals after going up 3-1. Fans of the NBA and OKC were outraged by this. The very balance of the NBA seemed to be in disarray and the next NBA champions had been crowned that day. The reason this happened was that the new salary cap allowed the Warriors to have a max salary cap space to use in free agency and they used it.
The Warriors win the next two NBA championships and are on top of the world. Then in a January 2018 game DeMarcus Cousins tears his Achilles and is out for the rest of the NBA season.
via Bleacher Report
He is an All-NBA center who will not return until December or January of the next season and is entering free agency. Because the 2016 salary cap spike not many teams have cap space and lots of them are up against the salary cap because the salary cap has not risen at the same rate. With only 4 teams having at least $20 million of projected cap space (LAL, IND, ATL, PHI) he has limited options. He could re-sign with he Pelicans but they would most likely give him a short term deal and they already proved they could get to the second round without him. So Boogie and his agent decide to go to the Warriors on a “prove-it” deal.
Here’s the thing I don’t see the Warriors keeping Boogie for more than one year because in the summer of 2019, 17 teams will have more than $20 million in cap space and the Warriors will have Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as potential free agents. They will not have the room to keep Boogie and he will want to get paid.
So, while this seemed to be the summer of LeBron, by the way it still is, the Warriors are stealing some of his thunder but this should only be temporary.