The Golden State Warriors are the best team in not only NBA history, but sports history. They’re better than any Patriots, Yankees, or Canadiens teams and it really isn’t close. Golden State is a record breaking team that added the most lethal and versatile scorer the game has ever seen, in a score first era. Featuring four All Stars in the starting lineup from last year, and a fifth on the way in the rehabbing Boogie Cousins, this team has no weaknesses, at least on paper. Two nights ago during a meaningless game against a young Los Angeles Clippers team, Draymond Green turned the ball over as time expired sending the game into over time. This shouldn’t be a big deal as no team can usually keep up with Golden State for 48 minutes, let alone 53 minutes. Even if Golden State loses in overtime, no one would care when they raise another banner next October. However, something rather peculiar happened.
For the first time since 2016 Golden State has a crack in their armor. This shouldn’t be too surprising in all honesty, almost every modern era NBA power team came to an end this way. Kobe got Shaq traded, Ray Allen left the Big Three, LeBron left Miami, and then also Cleveland a second time. KD himself is no stranger to this as Oklahoma City was dismantled due to egos before they won anything. In response to this, Coach Steve Kerr suspended Green one game without pay to “cool off”. After the game, which the Warriors won, Durant was asked if he and Draymond had made amends, to which KD responded “nah”.
This is really the first time any problems have come out of that locker room, and it seems severe. Green is the unofficial captain of this team.
Durant is the better player without question, but Draymond Green is the glue for sure. This problem may be resolved within a week and the status quo will take back it’s form, but if this problem persists someone has to go, and it certainly shouldn’t be Green.
The Warriors are entering a point in their dynasty where some pieces age out, and some have to be replaced. While neither Green or Durant are aging at a rate that would warrant them ineffective, there certainly is a right time to leave. With Durant’s upcoming free agency, which even Green mentioned in their spat, hanging over Golden State’s heads, a lot of questions could be answered with a big trade. Now, if these two can hug and make up then obviously you sweep it under the rug and ride this season out. However, if they can’t then you can add some real youth in exchange for Kevin Durant that could extend this Warriors run for multiple years.
Eastern Conference teams are currently loaded with talented youth. Boston, Philly, New York and Toronto all have pieces to compete for a year with KD, while being able to send youth and/or picks back to the bay area.
The Knicks specifically, a team odds makers in Vegas already have Durant linked to, have enough big contracts to match Durants 30 million in salary. Strap a future first and rookies Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox to one of those insane contracts, and Golden State has to listen if things between Green and Durant get bad enough.
Realistically, this NBA season is going to end one way and that’s with Steph and the gang winning another title. If KD is there or not is an entirely different story. With Klay Thompson becoming a free agent this year, Draymond in two years, and KD with a potential opt out after this season, GM Bob Myers is going to have some decisions to make to keep this train going forward. If push came to shove and the decision of who to keep came to his door earlier than expected, Myers should cash in on Durant before he up and leaves in the off season. Again.
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