The Warriors’ focus right now has to be on the dangerous opponent in front of them, and their pursuit of a third straight NBA championship.
The focus should be on doing something few franchises accomplish because it could be a historic moment. It also could be the last time things look this for the Warriors.
Everyone knows about the cloud hanging over the Warriors. That Kevin Durant, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, likely will leave the Bay for New York or Los Angeles to start the next chapter of his legacy.
That, and the impending free agency of Klay Thompson, apparently have the Warriors preparing for what could be a franchise-altering offseason, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Internally in Golden State, there’s a sense of let’s try to put aside what’s coming in July. We have a chance to do something very rare in sports, to three-peat,” Wojnarowski said Monday on “Get Up!” “Let’s try to keep our focus there and win the title, then let July play out the way it’s going to. But I think the Warriors are bracing for possibly seismic change within that organization.”
Losing Durant would be a huge blow to the Warriors, of that there is little question. The two-time NBA Finals MVP will leave a massive hole whenever he leaves, one that’s impossible to fill with just one player.
Even though Durant’s departure is expected, the Dubs still should be able to re-sign Thompson. All signs point to the sharpshooting guard signing on the dotted line July 1, should the Warriors offer him a max contract. Let’s not forget, the Warriors still have two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and three-time All-Star Draymond Green, so it’s not like Durant’s exit would take the Warriors from title favorites to cellar dwellers.
It would, however, considerably level the NBA playing field. Durant arguably is the best player in the NBA, and his talent takes the Warriors to a level that no team can match. And, should the Warriors try and save some money on Thompson’s new contract, they risk losing two of their core four and sending the team back to the middle of the pack in the Western Conference.
With the Warriors holding a 2-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, the two-time defending NBA champions’ eyes are fixed solely on another Larry O’Brien Trophy.
But the specter of what awaits this summer clearly has crept into the back of some people’s minds.