Kevin Durant Signing With Golden State Would Hurt The Warriors
Kevin Durant Signing With Golden State Would Hurt The Warriors
An earthquake hit the basketball world yesterday after hearing that the Golden State Warriors are significant favorites to sign Kevin Durant this summer, if he chooses to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But what if I told you that Kevin Durant going to Golden State would actually HURT the Warriors…
Kevin Durant is an undeniable superstar and future Hall of Famer in the NBA. Leaving Oklahoma City may be the biggest moves in the NBA since LeBron left for Miami and then came back home to Cleveland. By doing something like this, it comes with great pressure, media attention and more significantly, expectations. The Warriors would be arguably the most stacked team in NBA History with 3 Offensive Powerhouses in the same team, and nothing short of MULTIPLE Championships would be considered a failure. Durant already has pressure to win Championships with an already stacked team and already a failed trip to NBA Finals in his back pocket, would he want all the extra and added pressure and media scrutiny? Only time will tell.
Kevin Durant is an offensive superstar who needs the ball to be the dominant force he is, however, you also only play with 1 basketball at a time. Durant and Russell Westbrook have already been criticized and somewhat failed in the attempt to share the ball, deciding who takes the shots and who has the ball down the stretch. It’s already a struggle with two Superstars, imagine how hard it will be with 3 Superstars in himself, Steph Curry and allay Thompson. This is true, but the Warriors aren’t the Thunder. The Warriors don’t just rely on individual talent to carry the entire team. The load is spread more evenly throughout the roster and ball movement and player movement are the keys to their success. This is where we come across a problem. Steph Curry is their main man and number 1 scoring option. Kevin Durant has never been second fiddle to anyone on the offensive end and I’m not sure he ever could, nor could Steph Curry. It would be a situation where Steph and Durant would have to sacrifice individual stats and success in order to better the team. Their numbers and usage may each go both down during vital and important years of their respective primes, would they both allow or want this to happen? Would they want to spend the primes of their Careers sacrificing for the betterment of the team whilst sacrificing their own numbers and personal achievements? Something to think about.
3. KEVIN DURANT DOES NOT FIT THE SYSTEM
As crazy as this sounds, it’s actually true. The Warriors emphasize ball movement, player sacrifice and overall, don’t really mind who takes the shots at the end of the day. Kevin Durant needs isolation ball to be at his maximum. Even the leagues best defenders are no match for Durant when he is balling and more often than not you have to give the ball to Durant and let him do his thing, sometimes leaving teammates to stand around and watch, something the Warriors are the complete opposite of. The Warriors strive to get away from isolation ball but with his array of scoring talents it’s something Durant thrives on, having a defender on an island with him. Are the Warriors willing to change their entire system to accommodate him? I don’t believe so, as a matter of fact, their system and philosophy is the reason why they are beginning to establish themselves are on of the greatest teams ever. Changing that would make no sense whatsoever.
4. CAN DURANT MAKE OTHERS BETTER?
Having Durant will make the Warriors a scary team on paper but games aren’t won on paper, especially in the post season. Having Durant may make the Warriors a better prospect, however, it may not make them a better team. I find this similar to the Lemarcus Aldridge situation in San Antonio. It has drastically made them scarier on paper, but he has struggled to fit in and against faster teams, the Spurs have struggled in general which questions whether he was actually the right fit for them. He’s supremely talented but also needs isolation to be at his dominant best, it’s similar with Durant. With sharing the bal in mind, Kevin may make the Warriors better, but he doesn’t make others better or elevate their games to a level worthy enough of his own usage. Thus, perhaps being a more damaging rather than beneficial move for the Dubs.
5. DRAYMOND GREEN AND CO.
If Kevin Durant moves to California, what happens with Draymond Green? Does Draymond start? Does Durant take his place at the Small Forward position pushing Draymond to play the 4 or the 5 and make the Warriors even smaller? It will be interesting to see but going that small or making that adjustment does make them more susceptible to being dominated inside. They would be playing without any true big men and having Draymond and Harrison Barnes guarding possibly 4 or 5s could be a negative thing in the long term. They would have no centre or genuine big man and the rotation and bench rotation would have to change as well. Something to consider.
6. WILL OFFENSE ACTUALLY BEAT DEFENSE COME PLAYOFF TIME?
With Durant coming to Golden State, they drop defensively. Durant has improved defensively over time but he is in now way, an elite defensive player. With Durant arriving, it is likely that either Andrew Bogut (their defensive anchor) or Harrison Barnes (a promising and brilliant prospect as well as a good defender) will be relegated to the bench. Either of them going to the bench may improve their depth but it doesn’t help the Warriors in the long run. They drop defensively and even with all the firepower, I’m not sure an all out defensive team is a formula for success. Draymond can’t defend everyone.
7. LEAVING WESTBROOK
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have built a special bond over the years. At this moment in time, it’s hard to see them parting ways after everything they’ve been through. They are very close and feed off each others greatness. In saying that, they both want to win and a new environment may have to encourage that if they fail again this year. It is also a big possibility that they both leave together and team up perhaps in LA or elsewhere. Leaving Westbrook may also provide the Thunder an opportunity to give Westbrook his own team. With Russell being able to manage and take over his own team may also be a scary prospect, especially if the Thunder are able to get great and well balanced pieces for him or the ability to bring in other stars. It could actually work out that the Thunder may get better collectively if they offload one of them, but again, I do believe it’s unlikely but a possibility nevertheless.
8. THE WORLD WANTING YOU TO FAIL
The fact of the matter is, if Durant leaves, he’s in the same boat as LeBron James. People will want him to fail and a lot of NBA fans will actually hate him and the Warriors for it. His character will be questioned and unlike LeBron, Durant doesn’t handle the media or the negative press well, and will find it difficult to rise above it. It will be definitely a test for him as the basketball player and more importantly, him as a man. Hate will be a very real and realistic thing he has to deal with on a daily basis.
All in all, I do believe it’s unlikely that Kevin Durant leave the Oklahoma City Thunder, however, with all these strings rumors and coverage of the situation, it may be a very real possibility we see him in another uniform next year. The Warriors reportedly have strong interest in him, but I don’t believe it will be the right fit for both parties.