The Golden State Warriors are a superteam. Kevin Durant solidified that, but they were arguably in that category before he arrived. Now, just a year later Durant is a Finals MVP and a league champion.
Yet they don’t sit still. It seems the Warriors are always involved in a talks around major players, even if they appear maxed out on roster spots. They won’t stand pat, so other teams have started to react to try to win their way through West.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have added Jimmy Butler. The Oklahoma City Thunder added Paul George. The Denver Nuggets got Paul Millsap. The Lakers traded for Brook Lopez. The Rockets swapped for Chris Paul. The list is the seemingly endless.
So, do the Warriors recognize that they are the instigator for all this movement? Durant certainly does.
Speaking with Bill Simmons on a recent edition of his podcast, Durant said that he recognizes the Warriors have forced other teams to try to beef up their rosters.
Via The Ringer:
Bill Simmons: Do you buy the theory that the Warriors shook up the entire NBA and caused all this player-movement chaos that happened?
Kevin Durant: Yeah.
Simmons: Because it’s been an especially crazy summer.
Durant: Yeah, I buy it. Yeah.
Simmons: I mean, we’ve had like five major moves. The 1- and the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference traded A-list starters to each other.
Durant: I don’t think that was because of us, but —
Simmons: No, it might have been though.
Durant: No, but a lot of teams making moves because of us. You see Houston making moves because they want to.
Simmons: What was the one that surprised you the most?
Durant: That one.
Simmons: Chris Paul?
Durant: I’m not surprised. I’m sorry. I’m not surprised by anything, but it was just kind of like, “Hmm, damn. That’s a smart move.” I wouldn’t think nobody would be that smart to pull that one off.
There is no doubt that the Warriors have caused teams to react, and when it comes to trades that certainly makes sense. Free agents signing with new teams out West is somewhat of a curiosity given that stars know they will need to go through Golden State in the playoffs, yet that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent as they team up with each other.
In any case, the Warriors know what they are doing. Now, it’s up to the other teams in the Western Conference to stop them. Good luck with that.