OAKLAND (AP) — Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers saved some money and created future financial flexibility for the franchise at the NBA's trading deadline.
Parting ways with two young players came at another cost.
The Warriors traded forward Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta and guard Charles Jenkins to Philadelphia along with cash considerations in separate salary-shedding deals Thursday to get under the league's luxury tax. Golden State received a protected second-round pick from Philadelphia and future draft considerations from Atlanta.
In separate sit-downs in his office, Myers called the process of informing each player "emotional."
"It's hard. I think it was hard for them. It's hard for us," Myers said. "You're talking about dealing with people. Anytime you deal with people, you're not trading a building or a widget. These are real people that you get to know. It's hard. Just a hard thing to do."
Myers said he had no mandate from owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to get under the luxury tax. Instead, the moves were made in part so the Warriors could become a tax-paying team as soon as next season without added costs.
By shedding both second-year players just before the deadline, Golden State sliced more than $1.5 million off its salary cap. The Warriors began the day about $1.2 million over the league's $70,307,000 luxury tax.
Teams above that amount after the deadline will pay a dollar-for-dollar tax. Starting next season, the luxury tax will move to an incremental system. There will also be a penalty for "repeat offenders," which the NBA has defined as a team in the luxury tax for four of the five previous seasons.
"We felt like with the risk of being in the tax next year possibly and doing what's right to win, we didn't want that clock ticking now on becoming a tax-paying team," Myers said.
Myers added that the team has about $294,000 remaining to sign a player off waivers, which he expects to do in the next week. The trades also give the Warriors more flexibility in salaries they can take back in future deals.
In other words, Myers cut Golden State's losses now in the slimmest way he could.
The Warriors drafted Tyler and Jenkins in the second round in 2011. They're earning about $762,195 each this season, the second year of their rookie deals.
And while each has played sparingly of late, the team had high hopes for both.
The Warriors, with the approval of ownership, bought Charlotte's 39th overall pick for $2 million to draft Tyler almost two years ago. The former San Diego high school star, now 21 years old, had dropped out to compete overseas but struggled in Israel before moving on to Japan and then the Warriors.
The 6-foot-10 forward appeared in 20 games this season, averaging 1.1 points and 3.1 minutes per game. He split time with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the Development League, where he averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30 minutes per game.
Jenkins, selected 44th overall out of Hofstra, began the season as the backup point guard. He has averaged 1.7 points and 0.6 assists in 6.2 minutes per game, though his playing time has declined with the emergence of undrafted rookie Kent Bazemore.
Last season, Jenkins played in 51 of 66 games. He averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 assists in 28 starts — most after Stephen Curry injured his right ankle and Monta Ellis was traded to Milwaukee in the deal through brought Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area.
Jenkins tweeted his thanks to the Warriors for giving him the opportunity, saying he met a lot of great people during his time with the team and "the relationships will definitely stay the same."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after practice that the stress of the trade deadline is far more taxing for him as a coach than it ever was as a player.
"For me, it's tougher," Jackson said. "As a player, I was probably biting my nails a little bit. Didn't know. As a coach, I've got a relationship with these guys. I'm invested in them. It's tough. It's tough. It's just tough. That's the difference for me. I attempt to practice what I preach, and I love these guys."
Starting shooting guard Klay Thompson, drafted 11th overall in the same class as Tyler and Jenkins, said parting ways with teammates is always bittersweet.
"For everybody, it's tough if you get traded, but you can almost look at it like an opportunity," Thompson said. "And at the end of the day, you're still playing basketball for a living so it's not that bad at all. Whoever it might be that gets traded, it's tough losing a friend. It's really tough. But you still keep relationships with them throughout your career so it's not the end of the world. It's not a fun day."