The NBA finals ended with the Raptors celebrating in the Oracle, while the Warriors wonder what lies ahead.
Injuries Plagued The Series
Falling into a 3-1 hole in the series, the Warriors received a much-needed boost with Kevin Durant’s return. However, Durant went down during the 2nd quarter after he tore his Achilles tendon. Unfortunately, the injury will keep him sidelined next season. To make matters worse, he was not the only key player to suffer a serious injury.
Golden State’s injury woes continued in game six when Klay Thompson went down with an apparent leg injury in the second half. Steph Curry did not hide his emotions and was clearly frustrated seeing his teammate writhe in pain. Steve Kerr pointed out that the only thing that matters is the severity of the injuries.
It was later reported that Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL, putting next season in doubt.
Before Thompson went down, it seemed as if he was carrying the warriors into game 7. Draymond Green understands how much passion he brings to the team.
Heading into this offseason as free agents, Durant and Thompson have huge decisions to make. The injuries only make the decision for them and teams that were ready to dish out max contracts that much harder.
The Warriors Free Agency Impact On The League
Whether or not the Warriors lose Durant and/or Thompson, the rest of the league is going be extremely aggressive this free agency. The Warriors being without these two stars opens the window for contending hopefuls, even if only for one year.
Thompson has made it clear that he loves Golden State and remains a high possibility that he sticks around. Meanwhile, Durant made it clear that he is willing to move on, but with his Achilles tear, it makes sense for him stay for at least next year.
Durant can opt-in for $31.5 million and stay with the warriors for one more season. This would delay his decision for another year and allow him to rehab. This option seems more and more likely with him remaining sidelined for an entire year.
Moving Forward Without Them
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant have made it seem impossible for another western conference team to make to the Finals. This next season, only one of those three will be on the court.
Curry, The 2X NBA MVP, does not see a decline in the team’s future.
These finals allowed Curry to get a taste of what next year holds. It will be the first time since the dynasty began where he will not have the help of either Thompson or Durant.
Curry may not see this as the beginning to an end, but coach Kerr is aware just how great his team was over the last five years.
Dynasties are rare in sports. Understanding how special this team was should not be taken for granted. Fans constantly root for the demise of teams like the Warriors. With their future unclear, the players that were a part of this run will always be a part of history, while the Warriors move forward with the greatest shooter of all time.