Sometimes, having a star-studded roster doesn’t equate to success, let alone a championship. That is one of the reasons why Kevin Durant only signed a two-year, $54 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant can bolt at the end of next season, as the deal includes a player option after the first year. Warriors president Rick Welts recently confirmed that the four-time NBA scoring champion only gave the team a one-year commitment.
“There’s no [long-term] commitment from Kevin. He signed a one-year contract with a player option,” Welts said on the Tiki and Tierney radio show. “We’ve got to be a place that is as good as he thought it was when he selected the Warriors over the other options that he had.”
Welts added that he understands the business aspect of Durant’s decision. Taking into account the league’s new TV deal, players don’t want to be strapped to a contract that might not be as worthwhile once the TV money comes in.
He believes Durant’s decision was fueled by business reasons rather than basketball reasons. Durant himself said he joined the Warriors because the team presented him with the best opportunity to evolve as a player and a man.
With a starting lineup that features Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, many expect the Warriors to reach, if not win, the 2017 NBA Finals. However, there are precedents that suggest otherwise.
CBS Sports indicated that super-teams often take a year or two to gel. Durant, in particular, will be playing without the ball more than he has ever been used to in the past. Curry, Thompson and Green must also learn when to take the back seat when Durant is clicking on offense.
There’s also the issue of the Warriors giving away too much of their Death Lineup just to acquire Durant. Only five players were retained from the team’s 2015 championship roster. These are Curry, Thompson, Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
“I mean, I’m not going to complain about [the Durant signing],” Curry shared to ESPN. “I know for a fact it’s going to be a different look having obviously lost some key guys. Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Mo Speights, Leandro Barbosa – guys that meant a lot to us and our success. We gave up a lot to gain KD. We’re going to be a different team.”
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