OAKLAND – The latest was announcing Tuesday they had purchased control of basketball operations of the NBA Development League team in Bismarck, N.D., which came after they spent $2 million during the draft to acquire the second-round pick that became Jeremy Tyler, which came after foiled attempts to spend $3 million to get an additional first-rounder, which came after all the spending of the previous months. Paying David Lee some $80 million to come, paying Don Nelson another $6 million to stay away, giving up an unknown ownership share to get Jerry West to join the front office, and – oh, yeah – heading the group that paid a league-record $450 million to get the Warriors in the first place.
Joe Lacob and Peter Guber promised a serious financial commitment upon taking control last November, and they have delivered. In a time of economic hardship for many around them, the Warriors have signed huge contracts, fired a high-paid coach with a year left on his contract, handed over a portion of the team to land West, and made a bold strike in the draft. All in less than a year, with the understanding that Lacob and Guber were far enough along in buying the franchise last summer that they probably could have scuttled the Lee sign-and-trade that officially went down on the watch of predecessor Chris Cohan.
Golden State was in such buyer’s mode Thursday that the $2 million sent to the Bobcats for Tyler as the No. 39 pick was actually the fallback. The Warriors, Lacob said, had tried to get another pick in the second half of the first round, likely at the going-rate cost of $3 million, which would have meant a second guaranteed contract after drafting Klay Thompson at 11. Nothing materialized, Lacob told NBA.com, because potential trade partners wanted players in return, not money.