|Game 7 aftermath|
The Finals ended, and we lost. But I’m not ready to let go of basketball just yet, especially with free agency looming!
The celebratory smell of champagne and spilled tequila is probably still wafting in the visitor’s locker room at Oracle, but two delicious rumors have already reverberated around the Warriors. First, of course, is that Kevin Durant’s supposed interest in springing from Oklahoma City to join our team. ESPN’s Chris Broussard’s reporting that Durant’s decision is likely a two-horse race between the Warriors and Thunder is incredibly exciting.
Long before the Warriors lost in the Finals, there already was speculation that Golden State could become Durantula’s free agency destination if he left the only NBA franchise he has ever played for. Back then, I didn’t like the idea. It seemed too risky. I also thought one of the things that made our team so potent was our depth. But after we crumbled in the Finals, my opinion on the matter has changed. Back then, I wasn’t keen on the possibility of losing some significant contributors off our bench to bring his max contract onboard, but I think the Finals showed us—amongst many things—that the ultimate outcome will likely come down to the strength of each team’s best 7-8 players, not the entire roster. Over a seven-game series, Cleveland’s best three players—LeBron, Kyrie and Tristan Thompson (who I like to call “Fetch” because fetching offensive rebounds is his only elite skill)—simply outplayed Curry, Green and Klay Thompson just enough to win it all.
Unless Miami significantly upgrades their talent in the offseason—like adding Kevin Durant—we all know LeBron, Kyrie and their supporting cast will be back in the Finals because they play in the Eastern Conference. We can expect them to have an easier road to the Finals again. This year, the Cavs played three less games than the Warriors before they met in the Finals. It’s not an excuse, but I think that extra wear was one of many factors in our collapse. So if we can upgrade our starting lineup, our top-tier talent by adding a once-in-a-generation player, I think our chances are significantly improved if we met again in the Finals. Plus, signing Durant would seriously deplete one of our strongest opponents.
So I’m all in on the Durant sweepstakes now. I still think it’s unlikely we’ll add KD, especially after last night’s trade in which Oklahoma City fleeced Orlando to upgrade their shooting guard position, but it shouldn’t stop us from doing our best to sign him.
And so, who would I be willing to part with from our pool of eight restricted and unrestricted free agents? Here’s my list: