With undoubtedly the shock of the summer, Kevin Durant signed a 2 year, $54.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. The move shocked the league, as Durant decided to switch to the team that narrowly beat OKC in 7 games in the Western Conference Finals only a month and a half earlier.
As a result of KD’s arrival, Andrew Bogut is set to be traded away from Oracle, and the Dallas Mavericks are set to be the team he moves to.
Harrison Barnes is also set to become an unrestricted free agent, with rumours of a verbal agreement between him and the Mavs of a 4 year, $94 million deal.
The re-shuffle in the Golden State locker room is well underway, but the question on everybody’s mind, is will it work?
Durant has spent the past 9 seasons carrying his team to the playoffs, along with Russell Westbrook. He has become a regular ball handler, and plays a lot of isolation offence, where he will drive at his defender one-on-one.
The Warriors have a much different style. They love to pass the ball and give each player touches of the ball. They move the ball quickly, and are rarely seen to play isolation offence. Their ball handlers vary almost every play! Steph sometimes will bring the ball up the court, but at other times it will be Draymond Green! With KD in the line-up, where will he fit in the offence?
The starting line-up is predicted to be Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Igoudala. As amazing as that teams sounds, there is not a post player, or a proper center? This could prove to be a major issue on defence, as Draymond Green and Andre Igoudala are too small to defend the post, and Kevin Durant isn’t strong enough to stop the bigs of the league from backing him down.
Andrew Bogut was an elite defender, and allowed the splash brothers to score all the points. By replacing a defensive-minded player, for an offensive-minded one, it leaves question marks over who will be the key defenders.
Most importantly, how will this new group mesh? Will they have good chemistry? Which player is going to have to change their style? It is likely that Durant will play as a point forward, rather than Draymond Green. Will Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have to pass more and shoot less? These questions will continue to remain unanswered until the opening night.
For now Kevin Durant’s mind switches back to Rio 2016, where he will be playing a key role in Team USA’s gold medal hopes. He will be playing alongside new teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, so will be a good opportunity to build some chemistry. Harrison Barnes will be in Rio too, but is not expected to be at Oracle Arena for much longer.