While several NBA teams have made massive improvements on their roster this summer, the Golden State Warriors have lost one of their best players, Kevin Durant, in the 2019 NBA free agency. Despite strong efforts from the Warriors to convince him to stay, Durant still ended up leaving Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets. The departure of Durant from the Warriors has dramatically changed the NBA landscape.
After years of being considered as the best NBA team in the league, the Warriors, minus Kevin Durant, are no longer viewed as a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference. Some people believe that the Warriors may even suffer a huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season. In a recent interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN on Wednesday’s The Jump, Warriors power forward Draymond Green said that after five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning three NBA championship titles, it’s “crazy” to think that people are predicting them to miss the playoffs next season.
“I’ve heard people say we’re not gonna make the playoffs. That’s crazy to me,” Green said.
Draymond Green believes that predicting the Warriors to finish the 2019-20 NBA season as one of the worst NBA teams in the league is a “total disrespect,” especially knowing the numerous milestones they achieved in the last five years. However, Green said that the Warriors are already used to that type of treatment. Instead of being discouraged, Green said that he and the Warriors will use their underdog status as an inspiration to further improve their performance and prove their doubters wrong next season.
“I like it,” Green said.
“You know, being the underdog. It’s been a while since we been the underdog. But it brings that underdog chip back, and I miss that chip. I’m pretty sure Steph [Curry] missed that chip, and some of the stuff Klay been texting me this summer, I’m positive he misses the chip. So to the oddsmakers, thanks. You got me where I am today. I look forward to where they take me again.”
Draymond Green's contract extension reportedly has $50M in "advanced payments." pic.twitter.com/38BBmpwS3V
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) August 8, 2019
Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Nets has undeniably affected the Warriors’ chances of reclaiming the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, with the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, it would be unwise for other powerhouse teams to underestimate the Warriors, especially when facing them in a best-of-seven series. It’s also worth noting that the Warriors didn’t lose Durant as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return.
In a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets, the Warriors managed to acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Kevin Durant. Russell is yet to reach the level of Durant, but he could still somewhat fill the hole left on the offensive end of the floor.