Will Kevin Durant Leave the Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant will be a free agent next summer. Will he stay or will he leave the Warriors?
The San Antonio Spurs have been a model franchise for the better part of the last two decades. The Spurs have made the playoffs every year over the last 21 seasons, they've won 5 titles in the Greg Popovich era, they've had 2 MVP awards go to their player, and they've had 18 seasons of 50+ wins. Sadly, it looks like the era of Spurs consistency and dominance is ending.
Tony Parker was one of the last Spurs “Big Three” and his Spurs tenure has officially ended with him signing a two year deal with Charlotte. It's unfortunate to see such a Spurs legend leave like this, but the writing was on the wall. Parkers return from injury severely slowed him and with the youth movement occurring in San Antonio, he was the odd man out. Now all eyes rest on Manu Ginobili as he has yet to announce if he'll return to play yet another season.
The changing of the guard in San Antonio was suppose to be smoother than it's been. When Tim Duncan retired, he was to pass the torch to LaMarcus Aldridge but that hand off was rocky and even resulted him Aldridge asking for a trade prior to the 2017-2018 season. While last year was a serious bounce back year for LaMarcus, it's worth seeing how much longer he'll want to try and slug it out in the West on a retooling team. The next superstar to dawn black and grey was Kawhi Leonard, who is currently half way out the door with a whole boat load of questions surrounding him. The shift from the “Big Three” era to this new age youth movement has shown the Spurs are just like every other team in the league.
Going into the 2018-2019 season, the Spurs find themselves in poor situation. Their home grown superstar is bound for a different team, their legendary point guard signed elsewhere, the Western conference is a nuclear arms race, and there are questions about how much more Greg Popovich has left in his tank. The pundits already peg the Spurs as not having enough fire power to survive the arms race of the West. The roster has a mix of aging veterans and very young players, it's a retool at best or at worst a put off from a full rebuild.
With the seasons start only a few months away, perhaps we'll see some big changes coming to San Antonio. How weird will it be to not see the Spurs dominant the West and even be out of the playoffs.