After it was all said and done, the Golden State Warriors were crowned NBA champions. Despite what we may have initially thought, it was not the cake walk we expected. Injuries and malaise led to Golden State finishing behind Houston as the number two seed in the Western Conference. Those same characteristics showed in the Western Conference Finals as they struggled to put Houston out in seven games. All of those issues should cause for a bit of trepidation in this upcoming offseason.
1. Re-sign KD
It seems like a foregone conclusion. Yes, Kevin Durant did sleep walk through large portions of the regular season (and in the playoffs if we are being honest). Yet, this is probably the happiest he’s been in his NBA career and his game continues to flourish.
His re-signing should be a foregone conclusion. Unless the “Disease of More”, Pat Riley described in the 80s happens on championship teams, begins to set in on these Warriors. Just look at Steph Curry’s “reaction” to KD wining Finals MVP:
It should be nothing. If these Warriors care solely about winning, Curry’s legacy will remain intact. Do not expect Durant to take a discount this year though.
2. Manage the Center situation
The Warriors carried a whopping six centers on their roster: Javale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, David West, Kevon Looney, Damian Jones, and Jordan Bell. Oddly enough, neither of those guys is their BEST center. That would be Draymond Green. Realistically, Bell should be manning the center spot for the foreseeable future. Steve Kerr still doesn’t know what he has in Jones (or maybe he does and that is why we have not seen him in action). The Warriors also declined their option on Looney.
Expect the Warriors to begin next season without West (who could retirement), Pachulia (not re-signed), and McGee (playing elsewhere). For the style the Dubs play, carrying that many bigs is untenable, which leads to the next point.
3. Find some Wings
The injury to Andre Iguodala exposed a roster abnormality for these Warriors. They do not have a trustworthy wing outside of him and Shaun Livingston. Yes, they have Nick Young (Swag Champ has a championship). He doesn’t play enough quality defense for Kerr though and could be looking for a new team. Patrick McCaw is still working himself back from that serious injury at the beginning of the season and still projects as a “three-and-D” type.
Ideally, an additional all-around wing would be something the Warriors should have as a priority. Whether that comes via veteran additions or some excellent scouting based on upside in the 2018 NBA Draft, expect the Warriors to aggressively attack this position.
The Warriors are still by-and-large the best team in the league. However, they showed flaws this season and the Rockets definitely created a blueprint on how to beat them. The gap is closing between them and the rest of the league. And with a big summer headlined by LeBron James’ free agency decision, the Warriors need to reload.