The hottest NBA media topic seems to be how the Golden State Warriors, a team on an all-time great pace (52 -5) in professional sports history, can improve this offseason with the addition of Kevin Durant. While headlines about free agency have been known to spike readers interest, and Durant being one of the best free agents in any sport over the past decade combined to brew a magic combination of sports orgasm. From this vantage point the sheer number and detail of the Durant to Warriors reports feels like a calculated attempt by some power brokers to unsettle the chemistry of a dynastic team.
Here are my core points.
Warriors focus is on this season. I don’t believe the Warriors brass or even the team itself is spending any time thinking about Kevin Durant. When you’re the defending champion and on a 72+ win pace, your focus is on now.
Warriors GM Bob Myers has undoubtedly thought about the Durant possibility within his longer term (post ’15/’16 season) plan. If Durant has mutual interest, this is something that will happen without as much compromise on the Warriors side than is being reported.
Durant vs. Continuity. The reports are increasingly similar in their framework, generally calling out key players such as Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala, Andrew Bogut, Festis Ezeli and Shaun Livingston as being sacrificial players in this scenario. ESPN & CBS have both given similar scenarios and many of the tier 2 sports blog networks or regional networks have penned similar stories.
It’s most likely these reports are just piling on the digital traffic train, trying to cash in on the dynasty play of the Warriors and the promise of making an even greater team. I just can’t stop thinking that there’s some jealous league power brokers who don’t want this to happen and even see an opportunity to upset the current Warriors roll. Why else would the commissioner Adam Silver address this during All Star weekend; “we prefer our all stars be distributed around the league” and so many of these reports calling out specific players who are required to be sacrificed in this effort?
IF Kevin Durant wants to join the Warriors this offseason, the Warriors can make it happen without sacrificing their core. Maybe it will require trading Harrison Barnes and it’s possible Bogut or Ezeli are moved as well, but these are all hypothetical scenarios. It’s just as likely and common sense dictates that OKC would want to get some value in return for Durant (versus losing him for nothing), so why wouldn’t a 24 year old stretch 3 & d talent such as Harrison Barnes not be a worthwhile substitute?
The fact remains that the Warriors aren’t seriously thinking about this nor should they be. This is a magical run, they want to make history, to win now and enjoy the moment. Durant can come later, or not, it just won’t require the sacrifice to continuity that everybody is threatening.