No matter the situation, we all know that the Warriors won’t be able to retain their entire current core of All-Stars on their roster. There are currently four players on the roster that are deserving of a max salary, and obviously the Warriors wouldn’t be able to afford that with their current salary status. There are many rumors circulating around the league involving Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, most of which should be taken with a grain of salt, but at the end of the day, a different Warriors roster next season is inevitable. There are a few offseason scenarios that could take place in the Warriors organization and I’m sure we’ve all heard of at least one of them.
Kevin Durant Leaves in Free-Agency
Kevin Durant has won two championships with Golden State, and he’s looking to make it three. At this point, I don’t see any way that wouldn’t happen without a monumental collapse within the organization or injuries. There have been reports that Kevin Durant is not sure about his future and might be looking to take his talents elsewhere during free-agency. Teams being linked to Durant include the Lakers, Knicks, and maybe even a reunion with the Thunder. In any case, the Warriors need to prepare for the worst, as it seems Kevin Durant isn’t interested in taking a pay cut, and I don’t blame him. Durant is a top three player in the league and he is worth every penny of a max deal this summer, and I’m sure he knows that, and he should take advantage.
Klay Thompson Leaves in Free-Agency
Klay Thompson said yesterday, February 13th, that he would like to retire as a Golden State Warrior, and I’m sure the Warriors are hoping for the same result. Unfortunately, there is a problem at the moment. If the Warriors offer Klay a max deal, they won’t have enough money to sign Durant to a max extension. Golden State has a projected total cap of around $120 million for the 2019-20 season, with the salary cap set at $109 million for next season that includes Kevin Durant’s player option and does not include a Klay Thompson deal. If Kevin Durant were to opt out of his player option, Klay would get paid, and they would be left in a pickle. At this point it’s choosing between one player or the other, unless either choose to take a massive pay cut for the opportunity to win more championships in the future. At this point, I think the Warriors would pay Klay.
DeMarcus Cousins is Gone
Boogie Cousins is one of the most dominant big men in the league, and he knows it. It’s as simple as this, DeMarcus Cousins won’t be on the team next year, unless he also takes a massive pay cut to win. Obviously I’m sure nobody sees that happening, and it’s more likely that he signs with another contender that has the room for a max deal. I don’t see the Warriors being able to offer anything close to what another team can offer Boogie and they know that, so they won’t prioritize re-signing him in the offseason. Once he gets his championship goals out of the way this year, it’s up to him to make the most money he can with what time he has left in the league being a dominant big.
All Things Considered
The Warriors are coming up on their biggest offseason in a long time. Three of the five all-star caliber players on the team are set to be available to the league, as long as Kevin Durant ops out. I think it’s a goal for the Warriors to sign at least one of the three major pieces, and it’s up to them to make cap space available to potentially sign two of the three. Golden State may be in a little bit of trouble, and it’s up to them to keep the core of their championship talent together as long as they can to prolong their championship window.