As was thought to be inevitable by most, the Golden State Warriors handily dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers to to win their second NBA championship in the last three years. With Kevin Durant fitting in seemingly seamlessly, Stephen Curry almost certainly resigning and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green still in the middle of very favorable contracts the rest of the league is left trying to sort out how to possibly challenge this “juggernaut”, with the Cavs tops on the list in terms of teams who will be searching feverishly.
In this edition of DBB on 3 we got some post Finals thoughts.
1. With the Cleveland Cavaliers losing, which seems most likely: A: The Cavs mainly stand pat going into next year. B: The Cavs make at least one major trade. C: Lebron leaves.
Michael Snyder: A – Outside of Kevin Love for Paul George (why would Indy do that?), a major trade doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The bench (backup PG especially) needs to get younger or at least more bounce-y.
Ben Gulker: I think the Cavs have to make substantial changes to compete with anyone who comes out of the West. They are old and frail outside of their Big 3. Can they make that trade though? I'm not sure. Kevin Love is the obvious target.
Steve Hinson: A - David Griffin doesn't seem to be a particularly creative executive and hasn't really made any changes of note in the past three seasons. Hell, they forgot they needed a backup point guard to start last season. They'll probably just add some players whose names they've heard of and call it a summer.
Justin Lambregtse: A, although I think B is very possible as well.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: LeBron can't leave until the end of next season, and I don't think he can get the max anywhere that gives him a better chance to win (yet). I was impressed with the Cavs this series and expect them to largely stand pat, although I would explore trading Kevin Love for a player who matches up better against the Warriors.
Ryan Pravato: None of the above.
The Cavs need a major overhaul of their bench. Not enough scoring and youth. The starting five are good enough but then that's were the similarities end with any of the other tops teams in the league. Golden State could bring two impact bigs off their bench (even if for only 3 or 4 minutes at a time) while the Cavs couldn't bare to play Channing Frye because of the matchup issues. The Warriors brought four (four!!) impact guards/wings off their bench that gave them all very nice minutes at different times. The Cavs got little out of Shumpert, Deron Williams and Kyle Korver on either side of the floor. Richard Jefferson had some moments but doesn't provide much on offense.
Lazarus Jackson: I think they make a trade - but I'm not sure how "major" it will be. The rumored Kevin Love-for-Paul George deal is intriguing, but I'm not sure Cleveland will have the salary to pay PG13 long-term, making a 1-year rental untenable. But they could trade J.R. Smith, Channing Frye, or Iman Shumpert for relative value.
Kenneth Wallace: B. I think the Cavs will try to make a major trade to upgrade their line-up to better compete with Golden State.
2. If Golden State is able to keep its "Big Four" intact for the foreseeable future, how many more championships do you see them winning?
Michael Snyder: They’re certainly set up to make major runs over the next four-five years and four-five championships isn’t out of the question. The “Big Four” are all in their prime – unheard of.
Ben Gulker: They will be heavy favorites as long as that core is together. And as long as that core is together, useful rotation players like David West will flock to them in hopes of winning a championship before retirement. They should be a dynasty.
Steve Hinson: Stephen Curry is the oldest of the bunch, having just turned 29. These are a bunch of guys in their prime and Curry isn't going to just forget how to shoot. I'll say five. But I don't think they'll keep the core intact. Klay Thompson in particular is capable of more and could make a move where he can get a bigger role.
Justin Lambregtse: How ever many years they stay together. There is no team that has any chance at beating them as hey are currently assembled.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: I'd set the over/under at 2.5 more championships. I can't see another team being favored to beat anything that looks like this Warriors team. But the NBA is a fragile landscape and it's awfully hard to keep any team together and healthy, especially one that's smashing every luxury tax record.
Ryan Pravato: Should we start to use the 'Big Five' term, because Andre Iguodala is just fantastic in so many facets of the game. So dynamic, so versatile. Makes everyone a little better and rarely takes a bad shot. He's the perfect role player and still in prime shape at 33-years old. Probably not going to have much drop in his game for another 3 or 4 seasons. To answer the question -- many more championships. I'm going to dislike them, but yet will love to watch them -- how can you not?. While I don't like what Durant did, I do think he's a good guy and one of the very top players of all-time. He didn't ride any coattails, he was clearly the best. Finally, I'm hoping the Cavs can tweak enough and keep this rivalry hot before the Celtics or maybe Bucks get closer to taking over the East.
Lazarus Jackson: Not one, not two, not three, not four... Sorry, wrong superteam. Two or three more (for a grand total of four or five) seems relatively reasonable. The Warriors also have long-term salary implications that could prevent them from winning the next four or five championships like people say - When both Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are eligible for the DPVE, it makes sense to trade one of them rather than give both that much $$$ (and of the two, it makes more sense to trade Klay because Draymond's defense and passing are less likely to be replicated than Klay's perimeter shooting and defense).
Kenneth Wallace: There are always uncertainties, but assuming the Warriors can keep their "Big Four," I think they will win at least two more titles. Keeping an adequate supporting cast after they retain Curry and Durant will be a concern, and there is probably no way they avoid paying a big luxury tax bill. But I think their biggest challenge will be retaining Thompson and Green when their respective deals expire in a few more years.
3. What's a hot take on a major player/players move in the off season that would form a super team to compete with Warriors next season?
Michael Snyder: The Celtics, their 53 wins and their assets and probably the only team in a position to make a significant step. My people are telling me Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin are both in play, that would certainly be fun.
Ben Gulker: Chris Paul to the Spurs needs to happen. If the Spurs could subsequently move Aldridge for 2 pieces to flesh out the rotation, they wouldn't be favorites to upset the Warriors, but they might have an outside chance.
Steve Hinson: Chris Paul to the Spurs. San Antonio won 61 games last year with Patty Mills and Tony Parker's corpse as their primary point guards. Upgrading to one of the best point guards in NBA history could take some extra pressure off Kawhi Leonard and serve as at least something more than a speed bump to the Warriors.
Justin Lambregtse: Chris Paul taking the vet's minimum to play with his buddy LeBron in Cleveland. (There is no way this will happen.)
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: If the Celtics really wanted to, they have enough trade ammunition to potentially add Paul George AND Jimmy Butler without ravaging a 50+ win core. Probably would still be underdogs against the Warriors, but certainly a competing superteam that would shake up the NBA landscape.
Ryan Pravato: The Spurs will do something, whether it's Chris Paul or Lowry. And Patty Mills might sign elsewhere, so what about Tony Parker as the backup? The Spurs also need to get quicker up front, so not sure if Gasol and Aldridge are the right answers.
Lazarus Jackson: Styles make fights. I want Boogie and Brow to work - for the West to have a skilled low-post duo that can punish the Warriors inside and on the glass on both ends. The math problem of 3 > 2 is still an issue, but I want to see a team try to beat the Warriors without playing their perimeter-shooting, defensive-switching game (because they're better than anyone in the league at it).
Kenneth Wallace: IF the Spurs can somehow get Kyle Lowry or Chris Paul, they could become a strong competitor. They were looking legit with their current cast when Leonard went down, and that was without Parker.
Do you see major changes coming for Cleveland?
Are the Warriors championship favorites for the foreseeable future?
What player or players could you see feasibly joining up to put a scare into this amazing Warrior team?
*Bonus question: What the f is the deal with the ski goggles?