June 14, 2017, 9:10 am
After witnessing the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors go 16-1 in the NBA Playoffs and make mince meat of the league, 29 other teams have to be scratching their heads on what to do next. The Warriors are looking to keep their young, under-30 core for at least the next few seasons, meaning your team must do one of two things:
Start your own version of Superfriends to compete against them.
This would be something perhaps LeBron James in particular will ponder over the course of the offseason. There are a lot of big names and moving parts, including one of his best NBA friends Chris Paul reportedly considering the San Antonio Spurs. Now, James is the prodigal son in Cleveland, but you have to wonder if he would consider a scenario where he can join a better roster to put him back in the lead for a title (dreaming about a Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge lineup). Sure, it’s highly unlikely, but one can dream.
Most of the conversation has to revolve around James or the Spurs, simply because they seem to be the only ones who can “test” the current Warriors, if we can call it that. A lot of jockeying for position will happen in the summer, as it always does, but it would take a serious injury to the Warriors’ big four or a counter-superfriend combo to compete against them if healthy.
Paul George of the Indiana Pacers is in the final year of his contract, so a trade to a one-and-done situation could tip the scales a little bit. As hard as blockbuster deals are to pull off, you have to wonder if a George for Kevin Love swap would make sense for both parties. George can compete for a title, help guard Kevin Durant and still leave for the Lakers after his year is done. Worst case scenario is the Cavs open up a ton of cap space and build around Kyrie and LeBron again with max money available.
Build for the post-Warriors dynasty.
It’s the Warriors’ world, and we are just living in it. After watching the NBA Finals, it is clear that there is no better time to build than now. Sure, there have been dynasties before. We know all about those teams of the past. But this is clearly a different animal. We are quite possibly witnessing the best team of all-time, and they could be just getting started.
The good news is that dynasties are meant to crumble, and they historically crumble fast in the NBA. Remember “not one…not two…not seven!!“? It never seems to work out that way. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are both free agents this summer, but both are obviously expected to return. Klay Thompson is under contract for two more seasons, while Draymond Green is locked up for three more seasons. Time will tell how long this group can keep it together.
As far as rebuilding goes, I’d say about 90% of the teams should be going in this direction, but only half realize it. Building the next big dynasty is hard to do, but the Giannis Antetokounmpo’s of the world are destined to compete on top in the near future.
Speaking of rebuilding, the NBA Draft is in eight days (June 22, 2017). Let’s check in around the NBA to see how teams are plotting to tackle the Warriors problem.
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AROUND THE ASSOCIATION
- The Sixers exercised their team option on Robert Covington for the next season, paying him just $1.5 million. That’s quite a steal. The Sixers are reportedly working out Malik Monk on Thursday and De’Aaron Fox on Saturday. With a young and talented core, this team will be a fun watch.
- Markelle Fultz is scheduled to workout for the Lakers on Thursday, just in case the Celtics don’t select him with their No. 1 overall pick. Lonzo Ball is reportedly coming in for a second workout with the Lakers as well. The deadline for draft workouts are next Monday, so you can expect his workout to happen before then.
- NBA Champion David West is contemplating his retirement. He made his mark on the NBA Finals by getting in to a tussle with Tristan Thompson in the second half of Game 5. West has been known for his toughness on the court. His championship leaves Chris Paul as one of few mid 2000’s Hornets starters not to win an NBA title (Tyson Chandler, David West, Chris Andersen, Peja Stojakovic, J.R. Smith won rings).
- Heat forward Rodney McGruder said that Justise Winslow is looking “really good” following rotator cuff surgery. Winslow was penciled in as a Heat starter and flashed high upside but fell victim to injury last season. He is worthy of late-round fantasy appeal next season.
That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Happy Hump Day Hoop-Ballers!