The Golden State Warriors benefitted from the rejection of cap smoothing in 2016 in signing Kevin Durant without compromising their core and could again benefit if the NBA and NBPA agree to a downward smoothing for the 20-21 season.
The Warriors are one of the teams that planned for now-outdated salary numbers when building their payrolls to over $140 million next season.
"Don't think it's lost on any of us that the Warriors could end up benefiting from the cap spike in 2016 and then cap smoothing if we have it in 2020," one general manager said.
Another league executive said, "I agree this concept makes the most sense in the uncertain times we have. But if [smoothing] is where it goes, it does penalize teams who have done better long-term planning."