Durant makes Warriors better, but not a lot better

Jul 7, 2016, 4:00 PM
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) hugs Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant afte...

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) hugs Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant after Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Monday, May 30, 2016. The Warriors won 96-88. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Yes, the Golden State Warriors are better after adding Kevin Durant to their star-studded lineup but what may shock people is that they aren’t that much better. Adding Durant is a no-brainer. But it’s not like if he went to Phoenix or Milwaukee, or some other bad or middle-of-the-pack team where his talent could increase their win total by 10 or 15 games.

The Warriors won the NBA Championship in 2015 and were one game away from repeating this season. They are good — really good — with or without him. Even with Durant, the chances of topping last season’s 73-win total are slim.

Golden State won’t care much about regular season wins. It’s all about the rings, and Durant helps kill two birds with one stone. He improves the Warriors slightly but just as importantly, his departure severely damages one of Golden State’s main competitors in Oklahoma City.

The reason Golden State won’t improve dramatically is because someone or a few players will have to sacrifice to accommodate Durant’s talents. You likely will get a portion of Klay Thompson’s best or Draymond Green’s best or even Steph Curry’s on most nights, which is OK because the Warriors will win and win often, but with so much talent, sacrifices will be made.

But this will not fail. There really is no reason it won’t work.

And while Golden State very well could have come back with the same team intact and won it all, getting Durant to make them slightly better is still better.

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Durant makes Warriors better, but not a lot better