For only the second time in the last five years, the Golden State Warriors have been defeated in the NBA Finals, this time at the hands of the Toronto Raptors.
What's next for one of the most dominant teams in NBA history? A busy offseason in which three of their key players are expected to be unrestricted free agents in Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Kevin Durant, F, UFA - $31.5 million player option for 2019-20 season
Klay Thompson, G, UFA
DeMarcus Cousins, C, UFA
Kevon Looney, C, UFA
Andrew Bogut, C, UFA
Jonas Jerebko, F, UFA
Quinn Cook, G, UFA
Jordan Bell, C, RFA
Damion Lee, G/F, RFA
Marcus Derrickson, F, RFA
UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent, RFA = Restricted Free Agent
Draymond Green, F/C - under team control through 2019-20
Andre Iguodala, F - under team control through 2019-20
Shaun Livingston, G - under team control through 2019-20
Damian Jones, C - under team control through 2019-20
Alfonzo McKinnie, G/F - under team control through 2019-20
Stephen Curry, G - under team control through 2021-22
Jacob Evans, G - under team control through 2021-22
The Warriors have two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft - one in the first round (28) and one in the second round (58).
Take a look back at Golden State's last five first-round picks:
2018: Jacob Evans (28)
2016: Damian Jones (30)
2015: Kevon Looney (30)
2012: Harrison Barnes (7)
2012: Festus Ezeli (30)
The Warriors won't have much - if any - cap space to work with this offseason.
They currently have $82.2 million in guaranteed salaries for next season, but that doesn't include Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, both of whom are expected to be unrestricted free agents. Both of their situations have gotten more complicated with them suffering season-ending injuries - more on that below - as re-signing even one of them to a maximum contract would put the Warriors over the cap and into the luxury tax for the third straight season.
If neither of them return, it would pave the way for the Warriors to open up $20.8 million in cap space, per Basketball Insiders.
Biggest offseason storylines
Kevin Durant's free agency
Durant's ruptured Achilles suddenly makes his summer far more tenuous. Though teams will surely still line up to offer him the full max, that he's out for potentially all of next season adds a major complication, not only with regards to how teams plan on building around Durant but his own calculus in determining his next move.
He has a $31.5 million player option in his contract for the 2019-20 season. Prior to the injury, it was widely assumed that he would decline that option to become an unrestricted free agent. Does that change now given his injury?
The Warriors are no strangers to dealing with Durant and player options - he opted out of his contract last offseason to sign a 1+1 - but there have been rumors circulating all season long connecting him to other teams, more so than ever before.
That hasn't stopped since Durant suffered his injury either. According to David Aldridge of The Athletic, the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers are still expected to pursue him when free agency begins.
Losing a high profile player to free agency is always tough for a team to deal with, but Durant isn't like most players. In three regular seasons with the Warriors, he's averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. He's been even better in the playoffs, leading them to two championships and winning two Finals MVPs with averages of 30.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
The Warriors had some success without Durant in these playoffs, beating the Houston Rockets in Game 6 before sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, but they had no answer for the Raptors in the Finals. Him leaving would make the Warriors much more vulnerable. He also has the potential of creating a new superteam elsewhere depending on where he signs and who joins him.
Klay Thompson's free agency
Unlike Durant, Klay Thompson doesn't have a player option in his contract for next season, so he'll be an unrestricted free agent no matter what this summer.
Thompson isn't quite the scorer and playmaker that Durant is, but he's widely considered to be the second-best shooter in the league. He's proven to be one of the best two-way players in the league as well, as he was named to the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team for the first time in his career this season. Thompson often guards the opposing team's primary ball handler, freeing Stephen Curry to hide on lesser offensive threats.
Thompson's skill set is in incredibly high demand in today's NBA. He did, however, suffer a torn ACL in Game 6 of the Finals, an injury that is expected to sideline him for most - if not all - of next season. Will the Warriors still offer him a max contract despite his injury? If the answer is no, there's a good chance a team in need of shooting and perimeter defence will.
Working in Golden State's favour: Thompson's max isn't what it would've been had he made an All-NBA team this season. Whereas he would've been eligible for a $221.3 million contract, the most he can now sign with the Warriors for is $189.6 million, a difference of $31.7 million over the same amount of years (5).
The centre position
The only true centre the Warriors have under contract for next season is Damian Jones, who appeared in only 24 games during the regular season because of a torn left pectoral muscle. Golden State's other centres - DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney, Andrew Bogut and Jordan Bell - are all free agents this offseason.
In the case of Bell, he's a restricted free agent, meaning the Warriors will have the option of matching any contract he receives. As for Cousins, Looney and Bogut, they will each be unrestricted free agents.
It once seemed unlikely that Cousins would be with the Warriors beyond this season, but he could return on another "prove it" deal after suffering a torn left quadriceps muscle in the first round of the playoffs, what appeared at the time to be his second season-ending injury in a row.
Looney's situation is interesting, in that he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason after the Warriors declined the option on his contract last offseason. He's coming off of his best season yet, to the point where Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called him a "foundational piece" in the playoffs. There is, however, a chance Looney has played himself out of the team's price range, especially if Durant and Thompson both return.
Then there's Bogut, who joined the Warriors near the end of the regular season. Does he have a future on the team?
With how much uncertainty there is surrounding each of them, Golden State's centre rotation could look very different next season.
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