Tuesday 22 August 2017 / 08:59 PM

KD’S ARRIVAL NO GUARANTEE OF GOLDEN STATE DOMINANCE

Without a doubt, a Golden State team with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant for years to come is going to shake up the NBA at least a little bit.

In the days of former NBA commissioner David Stern, this trade would have probably been vetoed, similar to how the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers had the kybosh put on it. However, as someone who firmly stood their ground in backing the Cavs in the Finals, even when they were at +600 odds at one point, I am a believer that this is just another obstacle for other teams to overcome.

What About Russ?

An opposing team will without a doubt need to have some top-15 players on their roster to pose a threat to Golden State.

July 4th was not only a celebratory day for the independence of the United States, it was a day for the independence of Russell Westbrook. With Durant leaving there is no real reason for Westbrook to want to remain in Oklahoma City.

Not to knock Oklahoma, but you’re Oklahoma. Russell Westbrook is a flashy kid from California who played his college basketball at UCLA. His tenure in OKC was bearable at best with Durant, but after the final year of his contract is up he’s without a doubt going to want to play somewhere else – unless, of course, OKC offers him a fat pay increase or attracts some top-notch talent.

Stick Westbrook on the Lakers’ roster and let him turn Brandon Ingram, the #2 pick of the 2016 draft with comparisons to KD, into an All-Star. The Warriors juggernaut can be nipped in the bud before reaching the Finals by an underdog in the West.

Wait for Golden State to collapse

Steph Curry, unanimous MVP, is making $11.37 million a year.

Klay Thompson makes $15.5 million a year.

Draymond Green makes $15.33 million a year.

With KD on the roster, adjustments will be made to be able to fit his salary as well.

Whereas…

Timofey Mozgov, who sat on the bench for the majority of the Cavs’ playoff series, will be making $16 million a year in LA.

The point here is that there is going to come a point where some of the All-Star talent on the Golden State roster is going to consider pursuing an extremely generous deal elsewhere at some point. Sure, they could possibly get a few first -seed rankings and maybe another Championship or two, but they won’t have the influx of new talent from the NBA draft. Recruiting a collection of talent like this is an accomplishment, but keeping them is the real challenge. If Golden State fails to win it all in 2017, expect some of the pieces to fall apart.

The East is getting dangerous

For the past couple years, the East Coast has been LeBron’s kingdom. Well, that’s probably not going to change – but it is coming close.

-The New York Knicks’ roster now includes Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. That’s a pretty nasty line-up, and if they can beat LeBron and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, they are going to give Golden State a run for their money.

-Dwyane Wade has been getting low-balled by the Heat, and as a Heat fan this makes me nervous. The possibility of Wade joining LeBron for a year or two in Cleveland, however, is something I could see happen.

-Why does everyone cast a blind eye to San Antonio? They might have lost in the first round to the Clippers in the 2015 playoffs in a Game 7, but they are by no means less of a threat. They are known to kill the buzz of the flashy new kids on the block. Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and now Pau Gasol is enough of a squad to shut down Golden State.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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