The 2018-19 NBA season marked the end the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty. After the Warriors lost several key players, including Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, to injuries in the 2019 NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors defeated them in six games to win their first NBA championship title. Aside from a failed three-peat, the Warriors took another huge blow in the 2019 NBA free agency when Kevin Durant decided to leave and team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets.
With the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the Warriors remain a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. However, after the birth of new powerhouse teams this summer, the Warriors may have a hard time fully dominating the Western Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season. In an appearance on KNBR 680 on Monday, Mychal Thompson predicts the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers will face each other in the 2020 Western Conference Finals.
“The Lakers are back to being the favorites to win the title again,” Thompson said, as quoted by NBC Sports. “I’ve been hearing about how the Clippers are the best team. If it was a 2-on-2 game, obviously everybody out there would take LeBron and AD over Kawhi and Paul George. The Lakers have a better roster. Better players… the Lakers are loaded. They’re the best two teams in the West right now. I’m already expecting the Western Conference finals to be played in Staples Center — unless Klay comes back and he’s healthy and he’s 100 percent to go, and then the Warriors are right back in the mix.”
The Clippers were actually the better basketball team in Los Angeles last season despite LeBron James playing for the Lakers. Will Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the team keep it that way? https://t.co/JJPWWjC7eV— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) July 7, 2019
It’s hardly a surprise why Mychal Thompson is suddenly betting on the two teams situated in Los Angeles and not his son’s team to come out of the Western Conference. While the Warriors lost one of their best players, Kevin Durant, this summer, the Lakers and the Clippers succeeded in building a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship title next season.
A few years after their “Big Three” era came to an end, the Clippers have succeeded in acquiring two legitimate NBA superstars – Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – this summer. Before committing to sign with the Clippers, Leonard heavily recruited several NBA superstars, including George. After George demanded a trade, the Oklahoma City Thunder were left with no choice but to send him to the Clippers in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and future first-round picks.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have succeeded to pair LeBron James with Anthony Davis after agreeing to trade Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and future first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. Though they failed to find their third superstar, the Lakers still managed to fill their roster with quality veterans.
In the 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers signed DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quin Cook, and Troy Daniels. They also decided to bring some of their own free agents back like Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso.