After failing to win their third consecutive NBA championship title, the Golden State Warriors took another huge blow in the 2019 NBA free agency when they lost All-Star forward Kevin Durant. Despite strong efforts from the Warriors’ front office to convince him to stay, Durant still ended up leaving Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan on the Brooklyn Nets. Durant’s departure from the Warriors has dramatically changed the NBA landscape.
Without Kevin Durant on their roster, most people no longer consider the Warriors a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference. In a recent interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Warriors owner Joe Lacob expressed strong confidence that the Warriors are one of the NBA teams that “legitimately have a shot” at bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“There are nine or 10 teams that legitimately have a shot, or they think they do,” Lacob said. “That’s great for the league. And we’re one of those teams.”
No one can blame Warriors owner Joe Lacob for being optimistic about their chance of reclaiming the NBA championship title next season. The Warriors may have lost Kevin Durant this summer, but they still have the core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. Also, it is worth noting that the Warriors didn’t lose Durant in the 2019 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.
In a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors managed to acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Kevin Durant. Russell may not be as good as Durant right now, but he could still somehow fill the void he left on the offensive end of the floor.
"I'm finna be about 3,000 miles that way when this gets built."
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With plenty of new faces on their roster, including D’Angelo Russell, Warriors owner Joe Lacob admitted that there are still plenty of things that they need to do regarding their chemistry. However, Lacob believes that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and his staff will figure out how to maximize the talents on their roster before the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
“By All-Star break, we’re going to see where we are,” Lacob said. “I personally have great faith in our coaching staff and our players. I like any team that has Steph, Klay and Draymond. When you add D’Angelo Russell to that, I’ll take that. I don’t know of any other team that has more than two All-Stars, and we have four. From that standpoint, we have a shot to be pretty good by the second half of the year.”
Kevin Durant’s departure has undeniably weakened the Warriors, but they are still an NBA team that cannot be underestimated in a best-of-seven series. If the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney build good chemistry and prevent any serious injuries, the Warriors will definitely be a team to watch out for in the 2019-20 NBA season.