What is a Sports Dynasty, what are the qualifications? Most would agree that a Dynasty is when one team is consistently dominant over an extended amount of time.
The qualifying debate is usually over how many years do you need to be good and what is “dominance”? The Warriors are on the edge of a Dynasty and have made all the right moves so far to secure their future legacy. Two titles in three years is a good legacy, similar to the Bad Boy Pistons, the Jordan-less Era Rockets, the Frazier/Reed Knicks, or the Big Three Heat period. To make the upper echelon of NBA greatness, Bill Russell Celtics, Showtime Lakers, Bird/McHale/Parish Celtics, the Jordan Bulls or even the Kobe/Shaq Lakers the Warriors need at least one more title( two titles would end the discussion).
Light Years Ahead…
CSN Bay Area
Warriors owner Joe Lacob famously once said, “We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things… We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the N.B.A. to deal with for a long time.” The Warriors have already built up a pretty good pedigree with 2 titles in 3 years, the best regular season and post-season in NBA history, and more wins in a 3-year stretch than any team ever. The only stain on their collective soul is the Game 7 loss to the LeBron James-led Cavaliers.
To Be Lucky
The old adage goes “It’s better to be lucky than good?”, the Warriors are a case of being lucky and good. The Warriors got lucky when Steph Curry fell to them when two point guards were taken ahead of him (Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio). The Warriors were lucky when David Lee went down with an injury and it forced them to start Draymond Green his 3rd season. The Warriors were lucky to have signed Stephen Curry to a 4 year $44M contract extension because of his injury history and luckier still for him to stay healthy afterward. They Warriors were lucky when JaVale McGee went from Shaqtin’ a Fool to Shaq-esque with his PER.
To Be Good
While the above mentioned lucky breaks allowed for the Warriors to improve, it was the shrewd moves made by Lacob and GM Bob Myers that got the Dubs to their current position. Giving a max deal to Klay in 2014 and Dray in 2015 that locks them both up until 2019 and 2020 respectively showed long-term insight that was helped along by Steph being the 6th highest paid player on the roster at the time. Myers and company had the foresight, as far back as April of 2015, that with the bump in the salary cap for 2016 and 2017, that they would make a serious push for Kevin Durant in the Summer of 2016. This forward thinking was happening in the midst of the Warriors marching towards their first title and was still in play during their record setting 73 win season. It was not luck that had them bring in Mark Jackson who instilled confidence in the core of Steph, Draymond, Klay while preaching defensive intensity. It was not luck that the Warriors decided that Mark Jackson’s Iso heavy offense was not unleashing the team’s full potential when they hired Steve Kerr. It was not luck when Steve Kerr decided to play Iguodala off the bench in 2014 for the first time in his career, and it was not luck when he started him in the Finals to secure their first championship since 1975.
All The Right Moves
CSN Bay Area
The Warriors have had a nearly flawless offseason. They signed Stephen Curry to a max deal using his Bird Rights, they got Durant to sign for less than the max offer sheet which enabled them to resign Iggy, West, and Livingston. The Warriors were able to resign Zaza Pachulia to a 1-year deal bringing back most of the core from last year. The Warriors lost James Michael McAdoo, Ian Clark, and Matt Barnes. They were able to replace them with Nick Young(Mid Level Exception) and Omri Casspi for the Vet Minimum. Javale McGee is probably gone but with the Warriors, who knows? They also bought a draft pick from Chicago to sign F/C Jordan Bell who is having a good summer league and looks like a more athletic replacement for James Michael McAdoo.
Maintaining A Dynasty
In order to keep this crew intact beyond 2019, when Klay Thompson is a free agent, the Warriors owners and Front Office must agree that Championships are worth more than the luxury tax. If the brass can agree upon that then there is no reason, barring injury, that the Warriors cannot win multiple titles in the next 5 or so years. As mentioned before Klay and Dray are signed until 2019 and 2020. Steph is signed until 2022, Kevin is signed until 2018 or 2019, but the team will acquire Kd’s Bird Rights by then. The Warriors will have full Bird Rights to its core four and will hope for development from Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney, and Jordan Bell as effort guys who can play alongside any ring chasers who take the Vet Minimum to play in Oakland. The problem is that it may cost around $1.4B in order to keep this core of players intact to win championships. That is a lot of money to lose in pursuit of winning.
Impact on the League
The league is well aware of the juggernaut that is the Warriors in the West and they are making moves to try and end this potential dynasty. Chris Paul is now a Rocket and the Rockets are targeting Carmelo Anthony to help provide enough offensive firepower to challenge the Warriors. The Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Paul George to team up with Russell Westbrook to try and make some noise in the division. The Timberwolves traded for Jimmy Butler and acquired Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford, and Jeff Teague to steady the young core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. The Spurs added Rudy Gay to their core to be more versatile and add some scoring to compete with the Dubs. LeBron James and Co. are trying to sign or trade for anyone but no one seems to want Kevin Love. They did resign Kyle Korver though. The Celtics signed Gordon Hayward and picked up rookie Jayson Tatum who is running roughshod over NBA Summer League. Free agency is not over, with dominoes still to fall, but the message has been clear: the league is not going to lie down and let the Warriors roll over them.
New York Times
They say “Man plans, and God Laughs”, so while Joe Lacob and Bob Myers can make all the plans they want for the future it is also going to take a little luck for this Warrior Dynasty to reach its full potential. To make a truly memorable run the Warriors need at least 2 more titles in the next 4 years to reach the heights of those Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics teams. For now, the Warriors are making all the right moves and staying ahead of the game but others are starting to gain on them. The only way to justify the money is to keep stacking those titles. Klay, Dray, Steph, and KD are the core that most fans could only get together in a twisted scenario in NBA2K. If you are a fan of the Warriors enjoy the ride, if you are the rest of the league try to enjoy the greatness you are witnessing, because you are witnessing a modern day Sports Dynasty.
Featured Image: Warriors World