The Golden State Warriors made the free agent signing of the summer by nabbing Kevin Durant, but is it possible that adding another Hall-of-Famer to the roster would make them worse? Just look at the Lakers about 15 years ago when they added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to their core of Shaquille O’Neill and Kobe Bryant. Let’s take a look at five ways the Warriors might not be as good as they were the last two years.
#1: Stephen Curry Is No Longer The MVP
Stephen Curry will spend quite a lot of time deferring to KD even though Curry is the MVP, the top point guard in the league, and the best shooter in history. The Lakers had trouble moving the ball around to their four hall of famers. Thus, Kobe Bryant didn’t see the ball enough times. The Warriors are doing the same with Stephen Curry. Durant may be great, but he is in the way.
#2: Defense Is Stalling
Draymon Green is the reigning defensive player of the year, but he is now leading a team that will be weaker on that side of the floor. Durant is not an elite defender, and his presence on the court limits what Green can do. Green must be allowed to marshal the court on defense in a way that the Pistons of the 80s once did. Plus, teams who struggle to stop opponents are too susceptible to their shots falling to win on a nightly basis.
#3: Klay Thompson Has No Room To Play
Klay is the Scottie Pippen to Curry’s Jordan, and he is capable of scoring 50 points in a game when Stephen is having an off night. Klay would be a superstar on any other team. He will turn out to be one of the greatest shooters in history, but he is stifled on a team that must allow Durant to score. Durant is taking shots from a man who is more than capable of playing his position, and the ball simply cannot make it around to each of them often enough.
#4: Luke Walton Is Not On The Bench
Luke Walton was the top assistant in the league but not he’s with the Lakers as their head coach. He helped bridge the gap between Steve Kerr and the young players. He is a man of wisdom like his father Bill, and he knows how to win. The loss of Walton is felt every day as the Warrior do not have another strong voice on the bench. He may not be viewed as a necessity, but he will be missed when the team plays poorly.
#5: The Team Is Strained Over Salary
Spending money ruins relationships in the NBA, and Kevin Durant’s contract is a problem in the Golden State locker room. No one has spoken out about the money Durant makes, but it is impossible to pay everyone when there are four potential hall of famers on the same roster. Durant expects to be paid later in his career, and Curry is paid as the MVP should be. Klay Thompson expects to have his due, and Draymon Green will expect his own payday before long. The team has money, but players are humans. Humans become insecure, and insecurity may rip the team apart.
The Warriors may win a title after figuring out how to play as a group, but recent history shows that having superstars all on the same team may turn out badly. Kevin Durant needs the ball, but Stephen Curry needs the ball, too. The two men must find a way to play together if they wish to win games. There is no chance of winning 73, but they may learn a new system that honors each of them in kind.