Since the conclusion of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, it’s been tough to think about the Warriors and not feel disappointed. There is no need to remind you, but the Warriors squandered a 3-1 series lead and a chance at becoming the greatest team of all time.
The Warriors were so close to winning back-to-back titles and although it hurts, it’s time to move on. Steve Kerr and company are already the favorites to win the title next year and with free agency around the corner, the Dubs can begin the chase for redemption.
With the increase of the salary cap and a couple contracts potentially coming off the books, the Warriors will have some serious money to work with this summer. This free agency, there is one big fish and that is Kevin Durant. The Thunder will likely retain Durant, but the Warriors are considered a serious threat. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Warriors have captured Durant’s attention:
The Thunder remain the frontrunners to re-sign Durant, likely on a one-plus-one-year deal that will allow Durant to return to free agency in the summer of 2017, league sources said. But more than any other rival suitor, the Warriors have Durant’s attention, league sources said.
Durant’s public and private criteria for the free-agent selection process have pertained to a singular focus: the chance to win titles immediately.
If winning a championship is Durant’s only priority, then the Warriors seem like the logical choice. While the Thunder had the Warriors on the ropes, the Dubs actually have the experience of winning a championship. The Warriors could win the title without Durant next season, but with him they become a juggernaut that could have the rest of the NBA having nightmares.
Durant has started scheduling meetings with NBA teams and the Warriors are in the mix. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Warriors have secured a meeting with the former NBA MVP and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will be present:
The Warriors and Spurs, sources say, are both already planning to load a plane full of key organizational figures — including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for Golden State, and Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan for San Antonio — to fly to an undisclosed location once free-agency season starts to try to lure Durant away from the only franchise he has ever played for.
This is not some wild goose chase, the Warriors will be going into this meeting fully loaded and prepared to show Durant they are the best option if he wants to get over the hump. Having the Splash Brothers attend the meeting should help the recruiting pitch, especially since they can convey the importance of winning a ring at all costs.
Durant has been to the NBA Finals and lost to the Miami Heat super team that was formed through free agency. The Warriors already have a fantastic blue print in place and it does not take a genius to realize that the addition of Durant would make the Warriors the heavy favorites to win a title next season.
Will Durant realize that? Only time will tell.