Warriors get bigger with Jason Thompson

The Golden State Warriors acquired forward-centerJason Thompson from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Gerald Wallace and cash and draft considerations, the team announced Friday.

Wallace was officially acquired by the Warriors from the Boston Celtics four days ago in exchange for David Lee and his $15.4 million cap hit. This trade clears even more money off the books for Golden State, with Wallace’s $10.1 million contract swapped for Thompson’s cheaper $6.4 million figure.

The two trades have knocked the Warriors’ total salaries from $103.1 to $95.2 million, which doesn’t take into account significant money saved by decreasing their luxury tax rate.

From a strictly personnel standpoint, Thompson, 29,  is an upgrade to Wallace. The 6-foot-11 Thompson owns career averages of 9.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.5 minutes over seven seasons with the Sacramento Kings, but is coming off a year where he averaged 6.1 points and a player efficiency rating of 10.2, both career lows.

In a team statement, general manager Bob Myers said:

“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster. He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”

The move gives the Warriors front court size which they don’t have in abundance, but Thompson could have a hard time finding consistent minutes, with bench players Marresse Speights, Festus Ezeli and James Michael McAdoo all likely ahead of him on the depth chart. Thompson will provide veteran insurance should any bigs struggle in their respective roles.

The Warriors remain a little more than $10 million over the luxury tax threshold of $84.7 million in total salaries, according to figures provided by Spotrac. It’s likely the Warriors will do some shuffling to get under the $10 million mark, as teams above that figure must pay a rate of $2.50 for every dollar over the tax, while those paying between $5 and $10 million pay a rate of $1.75 per dollar. The Warriors could save around $10 million just by cutting $1 million in salary off their books.

Golden State has already saved a considerable amount of money by flipping Lee for Thompson. With Lee, the Warriors were $19 million over the tax, and would have had to pay an exorbitant tax figure, around $60 million in addition to their player salaries. Even if the Warriors can’t get find a way to drop $10 million in salaries, the two trades have saved the team over $30 million for the 2015-16 season.


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