Before starting down this windy hot take road, I would like to put it out there that I am a bandwagon Warriors fan. I’ve lived in California off/on since middle school and am a certified Celtics fan. I was overjoyed when the Celtics broke their streak last year, but I was devastated to see LeBron win. That sucked. A lot. I remember in high school how jazzed up my friends were about a J-Rich and Baron Davis trying to do the impossible. Hell, I remember watching the Warriors when Matt Barnes was only moderately disliked.
I bring this up because the past few years watching the Warriors has been amazing, appointment television for the whole family, but I can look at it objectively because I do not live and die with this team. Is the coverage here a bit homer? You bet. Are people outside of this market blind with jealousy or would do anything to shit on them? No doubt.
That’s why I am writing this piece. Next season will be one of the most anticipated Finals match ups since….well, last year. However, the NBA landscape is going to change dramatically after the current CBA expires on June 30, 2017, so this Finals may be the last one before LeBron enters Bananaboat-mode and role players start getting egregious salaries. Oh, that’s already started? Well let’s let the predictions begin:
8) The Warriors Miss Luke Walton’s Presence
There were whispers of this during the run for the best regular season ever last season but you can bet an early season loss or two combined with ANY health related issue with Coach Kerr and this will be brought up. Early season loss to the Lakers? All of a sudden Coach Luke has “the Warriors’ secrets” down in Los Angeles. But let’s dial that back a bit: Steve Kerr has a coaching record of 140-24 with the Warriors. I’m pretty sure he knows this group better than anyone else in the world. This is their guy. Did Walton go 39-4 as the Warriors 1st half coach? Sure and that’s what got him a job with the Lakers, but don’t tell me for a second that fitting Durant into an established line up isn’t going to have growing pains, for any coach.
7) The NBA Needs To Pay Special Attention To Draymond’s Fouls
Do you know how many times Draymond was ejected during the regular season between 2014-2016? Zero. You know how many flagrant fouls? Uno.
Now granted, Draymond does have 24 technical fouls in the past two years but in 2014-15, you know who had the most T’s? That was Russell Westbrook with 17. Hell, my boy Isaiah Thomas had more technical fouls than Draymond last year with 14. There was no mention of keeping an eye on either of them in the media, but then again they don’t have a history of scrotum hunting.
The Warriors got their greatest challenge in their playoff run last year, and Draymond’s 5 Technicals & 1 Flagrant in 23 games are a testament to getting everyone’s best. It was a frustrating, physical game night in and out. During the Warrior’s title run? 3 Technicals in 21 games. What this tells me is that if Kevin Durant is even a slight improvement offensively to the Warriors, you’re not going to see Draymond kicking, clawing, biting if they’re cruising. Well, at least not till the playoffs. But as far as NBA refs trying to curtail Draymond’s behavior before it even starts? Waste of time and pure targeting by the league if they did.
6) Steph Curry Is Having Too Many Kids During The Prime Of His Career
I cannot wait for this one to be fired out because it is going to draw out the whole Curry family to defend him on this one. Dell, Ayesha, Seth, Sonya. Even Riley may leave the comforts of her brand new playhouse to yell at her dad’s detractors. The first couple of West Coast basketball have two daughters and a boy on the way (probably around Christmas-February by my math), but I have visions of a Cowherd type saying this after a trip to the OBGYN or paternity leave effecting the Christmas Day game against the Cavs.
Personally, if it was up to me, I would have waited to have kids and get married till after the prime of my career, but I’m sure Steph wants his kids to have the same cool experience he had with Dell. And
5) The Warriors Bench Sucks
This one is a bit harder to defend because the salaries of KD/Steph/Klay/Draymond equate to more than $70m in salary (with Steph being underpaid at $12m+), that leaves a little under $30m to build out the rest of the roster. Kind of tough but with David West taking a discount, the resurgence of Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala taking a contract that has him making only $1.6m more than Delly, the Warriors have an interesting mix of youth (McAdoo & Looney) and old (Pachulia/Varejao/West) to have a very interchangeable roster. Plus, there will be a veteran on some team that’s racking up L’s that will make it a point to come to the Warriors.
My confidence in some of these former D-League Santa Cruz Warriors players comes from their color guy and my high school classmate Kevin, who I trust on most things basketball. Yet I’m a bit worried about Kevin when writing this as I saw this tweet from him:
4) Klay Thompson’s Chinese Shoes Are What Cause Him To Go AWOL From Three Point Land
These are disgusting and it’s my own personal opinion, but I have my fingers crossed that someone else will say it too this season. Those cannot help. They look like the AliExpress version of Jordan’s.
3) Andre Iguodala will force his way out of Golden State because of lack of playing time/money.
This is one of my all-time favorite NBA conspiracies. With the arrival of KD as well as Steph Curry’s contract also ending, the Warriors are in an interesting predicament with Andre. First off, he’d be an idiot to leave mid-season and an idiot to leave in general. By the end of next year’s contract, Iguodala will be 33 y/o and have had made over $121m in his career. How much is enough? Only he knows that question, but with Andre having a heavy interest in technology, why would he leave the Bay? You have some of the best businessmen in the world that can turn a dollar into a grand here, plus the cap is going up.
Shit. Hopefully he’s broke temporarily because of all those sweet long term investments:
2) Klay Thompson’s Revolving Door of Women Is Causing His Play To Suffer
It’s no secret that Klay is single. It’s also no secret he’s got great court vision. But stepping away from Klay’s daily dose of eye candy, cheating, IG women claiming love or what have you, we must revisit the fact that even when Klay was cold last year (I still think it’s the shoes), there was multiple threats to back up his missed production. Especially from 3 point land. Subtract another “hot or cold” player from the mix in Harrison Barnes and add in an MVP shooter like Durant, I actually think you’ll see Klay play more relaxed and likely to go off.*
*As long as he only dates these randos from here there and everywhere. Don’t date someone slightly famous or more famous than you (if he has no intention of getting hitched) otherwise you end up with the Kyrie thing from last season. Or worse, this:
Finally, number 1.
1) The Warriors Window Is Closing Already
Klay and Draymond are 26. Steph is 28. If you want to put Durant on there, he’s 27. More importantly, the Warriors are going to resign Steph Curry, so let’s nix that idea right now. Knowing that, Klay is signed through the 2018-2019 season, Draymond through 2019-2020. Hell, even 1st rounders Kevon Looney & Damian Jones signed through 2018-2019 as well. What does this all mean? It means these 3 aren’t going anywhere.
Durant is a question mark as to what he’ll do after his 2 year deal is up, but even if he bolts, the cap is going up and they will have money to spend from Durant’s money should he leave to go sign (insert hot free agent). Combine that with a revolving door of vets ring hunting, late 1st round/2nd round picks looking to making any impact to get a ring/contract and you have the formula for success that the Spurs have had for years. The core pieces will remain, the ancillary young guys will come and go, the veterans will line up like there’s a sale at Jared’s for their rings, then leave/retire and so on and so on.**
**So long as Steph is healthy. We’ve seen scares from him this past season/playoffs but with LeBron getting older and Steph taking more of the spotlight (as well as others) away from Bron Bron, you can bet that Curry will get more foul calls as his career progresses.
So there you have it, your bold predictions of predictions of stuff that could happen surrounding the Golden State Warriors. Whether this team becomes a dynasty remains to be seen because I think the Cap movement is going to change so much, but for right now they’re sitting pretty pretttttay good going into next season. Oh, one more prediction:
Bonus: Draymond Green’s Mom Get Into A Twitter Feud With Some Media Personality This Season
Just please let it be Brian Windhorst. DrayMoM vs. Windbag would be an all time feud.