It took a lot for the Golden State Warriors to get Kevin Durant, even though they didn’t trade for him.
Durant will replace Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup, but Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights, and Brandon Rush are all also not coming back from that 73-win team.
Players like Ian Clark and James Michael McAdoo will be given an opportunity to step up, along with rookie Patrick McCaw, who had a solid summer league, and newly acquired bigs Zaza Pachulia and David West. That doesn’t quite replace all of the role players who are now gone, although Durant’s presence should make up for most of their absences.
The Warriors still might be looking for another body to fill out the rotation. They won’t be able to offer anything more than the minimum, so this guy should be of the ring-chasing variety.
Matt Connolly of Forbes.com looked at five players who might fit that mold and could add to Golden State’s super team.
In order, Connolly suggested Gerald Green, Carlos Boozer, Kevin Martin, David Lee, and Ray Allen. All interesting ideas.
The Warriors feel a little thin up front, so Boozer or Lee could help in that department. Lee, of course, was a Warrior for five seasons and a member of the 2014-15 title team. Boozer would be coming out of retirement, something he’s hinted at doing before. Both can hit the mid-range jumper and operate from spots big men need to be in for the Warriors offense.
Allen would also be coming out of retirement to make this happen, while Green and Martin are still in the league. Allen is, of course, really intriguing when you consider the 3-point shooting corps already on the roster. The all-time leading three-point maker joining Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Durant? Just, wow.
Green has always been a great athlete on the wing and a serviceable 3-point target (36.1 percent for his career). Martin is a crafty veteran and former 20-plus point per game scorer. He played with Durant in the season after the Thunder traded James Harden, so there may be a relationship there.
The Warriors are already the clear favorites to win next year’s championship. It’s scary to think they might not be done adding to their already intimidating team. None of the five players mentioned above would move the needle too much normally, but the Dubs are in need of another veteran body for their rotation, so acquiring another could go a long way.
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