The Golden State Warriors are fresh off of one of the best runs we’ve ever seen in NBA history. The Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals in six games over the Cleveland Cavaliers as Stephen Curry was named the 2014-15 NBA MVP. The team then followed that amazing season up by breaking the record for the most wins in a single season in the history of the league as they went 73-9 in 2015-16 and Curry was named MVP for the second straight season.
While there is a lot for the Warriors to be proud about from this past season, most of the team looks at the season as a failure because they failed to produce a championship. Golden State guard Klay Thompson said as much following the Warriors’ Game 6 loss to the Cavaliers.
“We expected to win the NBA Championship coming into the season,” Thompson said. “It’s either win the whole thing or bust for us. It’s no fun getting second place, so it would be a great season, but at the same time to us, the players, we’re so competitive, we’d feel like we failed, so that’s alright. A lot at stake, but that’s when we’re going to rise up and be at our best.”
Obviously, the Warriors would go on to lose Game 7 93-89 to complete one of the biggest collapses the league has ever seen. Golden State now heads into the offseason with more questions than answers.
Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa are four of eight free agents this summer for the Golden State Warriors. General manager Bob Myers will have a decision to make on whether to try and keep the team intact or shake it up and make some major roster changes heading into the 2016-17 season.
According to reports, the Warriors might be leaning towards doing the latter as Golden State has been connected to free agent Kevin Durant, and most recently, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki as potential targets this summer.
Durant is the biggest prize on the free agent market and he wouldn’t come cheap, but the Warriors have a lot to offer with all of the success the team has had the past two seasons, in addition to the fact that Thompson, Curry and Draymond Green are all locked up for next season. If Durant were to choose Golden State, the Warriors would instantly become the odds-on favorites to win yet another title.
Column via Stein Line Live: The Warriors start to pick up the pieces… and shift their focus to Kevin Durant –> https://t.co/PKuYxLNgHp
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 21, 2016
Another report came out recently that the Warriors are also targeting Nowitzki, who is expected to decline his player option with the Mavericks for 2016-17. The 38-year-old German averaged 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds this past season while knocking down 36.8 percent of his three-point attempts.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 21, 2016
It will be interesting to see if Myers can pull off this type of magic for the Golden State Warriors this offseason. If he can massage the salary cap to find a way to add both Durant and Nowitzki to a team that already features Curry, Thompson, and Green, then the Warriors will have no excuses for not winning the 2016-17 NBA title. Yet again, it would be championship or bust for the Golden State Warriors.
[Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]