Which Players Are Most Affected by Klay Thompson’s Contract Extension?

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David Lee (cont’d.)

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors don’t want to become a repeat tax offender, so the front office needs to shed some cap in order to make room for more players.

As aforementioned, the Thompson extension greatly limits the team’s ability to re-sign free agents to replace their expiring contracts.

The best way to free up cap space would be to dump Lee’s 2016 expiring contract onto teams still in the rebuilding phase.

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Unfortunately, Lee’s trade value is so low at the moment that there’s no telling what the Warriors would be able to get back. Getting back an expensive, long-term deal would be the worst case scenario, while getting back a couple expiring role players would be somewhere on the right track.

The Warriors would likely have to add in a deal sweetener (possibly in the form of one of their cheap, young wingmen) in order to rid themselves of Lee’s horrific contract.

Either way, it’s highly unlikely any team would be willing to take Lee.

That’s in no way discrediting who Lee is as a person and who he is as player, but his continued reputation as a liability on defense, his slow decline in production, overall lack of youth and athleticism and increased proneness to injury don’t exactly spell out “good trade material.”

Lee was the team’s cornerstone for many years, but it’s time to cut ties and look to the future. If Golden State wants to keep their title window wide open, they’d find a way to deal Lee as soon as possible.