Around the Western Conference (and the NBA), the reaction has been basically universal:
The West is wide open.
Golden State is not seen as a contender. Kevin Durant has a torn Achilles and likely misses most or all of next season, will not be quite the same when he returns, and when he does retake the court it may well not be wearing a Golden State “The City” uniform. Then there’s Klay Thompson, coming off a torn ACL, an injury that could sideline him all or most of next year (he’s a free agent, too, but he will re-sign with the Warriors according to sources — and his father).
Don’t tell Andre Iguodala that.
“But I’m confident in us. Klay will be back in February I hope. He’s a fast healer. We’re going to have another run at it. It’s not over.”
February would be eight months after Thompson’s torn ACL, and players have returned that quickly before (healing time depends upon the specifics of the tear and injury). However, that’s about two months before most players come back, some take even longer (Kristaps Porzingis), and the Warriors have a history of being cautious in bringing players back from injuries.
If Thompson is back for the playoffs, and the Warriors can add a little depth this offseason, they would absolutely still be a threat considering they still have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. The Warriors are not dead, but they are vulnerable now, and teams in the West are lining up. Utah made its move with the Mike Conley trade. Denver should be improved with Jamal Murray an Nikola Jokic. And Houston is still a force… if it stops shooting itself in the foot.
“I expected them to make a lot of moves,” Iguodala said… “Rob Pelinka, my old agent, I knew he would use that brain of his, that Michigan brain. And then, you got LeBron, he’s in the later stages of his career. He wants to win now.”
In the next few weeks, we’ll get a sense of where the Lakers stand, they still have a team to build out.
Just know the Warriors still plan to be in the mix, next season and beyond.