Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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It seems as if the Golden State Warriors will have lots of patching up to do next season, in trying to replace two All-Stars from their run to five straight Finals.
The latest: Klay Thompson suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in Game 6, per the team following the Toronto Raptors’ championship-clinching victory.
Thompson is likely to join Kevin Durant on the sidelines for most, if not all, of next season. Thompson’s prognosis is actually better than that of Durant, as Thompson could potentially be back by March or February. Durant, on the other hand, is likely headed for a redshirt year at the age of 31 following a ruptured Achilles.
It’s hard to know if either will come back as the same player (historically, Achilles’ sufferers lose a step, sometimes 10 steps) — but that won’t keep teams from lining up to sign them.
Both players are eligible for free agency and both will have multiple suitors. While plenty of teams will be willing to wait on Durant, it’s hard to know if the Warriors will. Durant’s best option to remain with the Warriors, some believe, is to opt in to his $31.5 million contract for next season then try free agency again in 2020.
Or perhaps Durant will take a longer, larger deal that is expected to be offered by the likes of the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.
Either way, you have to wonder what’s next for the Warriors. Is a team led by Steph Curry and Draymond Green, and potentially handcuffed by the salaries of two men who aren’t playing, good enough to go anywhere special?
For the first time in a half decade, the Warriors are surrounded by big offseason decisions and loads of question marks. For the first time in a long time, the Warriors look almost helpless when it comes to solutions. DeMarcus Cousins, Shawn Livingston and several other contributors could be gone.
And one way or another, the Warriors will experience a long stretch without Durant and Thompson.
Oftentimes, a franchise’s fall from glory comes fast and is unforgiving. The Warriors probably aren’t quite there yet. But because of circumstances out of their control, they could be on their way.
Next season, the Warriors’ move to San Francisco will be complete. They have played their final game at the Oracle. And while it’s way too soon to write them off entirely, reality is, things just may never be the same.