If you are a Golden State Warriors fan (bandwagon or die-hard), then life is pretty good. However, it is difficult to ignore the noise surrounding the upcoming free-agency period and the reports that list Golden State as a front-runner in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.
The rumors are intensifying as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team Durant plays for, are treading water to stay in the conversation of title contenders, while the Warriors are chasing historic records.
In the event that the Warriors were able to land Durant, they would be the only team ever to have two MVPs on the same team. Their starting lineup would also look formidable: Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli.
That prospect is downright scary if you’re an opposing fan and terrifying if you’re a NBA coach tasked with defending that team. However, signing Durant to get an unstoppable starting five would undoubtedly cost the Warriors their invaluable bench depth.
As Bobby Marks of “The Vertical” lays out this scenario, the Warriors would have to trade Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut, renounce their rights to Harrison Barnes, Leandro Barbosa, Marreese Speights, Brandon Rush, James Michael McAdoo, and Ian Clark.
While this may not seem like a big deal, consider the one thing that has made the Warriors operate in a transcendent gear at times this season: Team chemistry.
Golden State Coach Steve Kerr was able to institute his offense and turn the team into champions in his first year.
This season he was able to add an additional layer to his complex scheme due to the fact that the Warriors brought back all but three periphery players from that team.
There is no metric for chemistry nor continuity, but why make such a gigantic modification to a historic team that may very well claim its second consecutive NBA championship?
The answer is that Durant is a generational talent in the prime of his career. The OKC star has averaged 27 points per game in his career and can score in any system.
This decision boils down to two options. The Warriors will either overpay an underperforming Barnes to keep the chemistry intact or reinvent the team and sign Durant.
April 20, 2017 11:58 am