Golden State is the destination for Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant and Steph Curry

The story of the summer in the NBA has finally come to a conclusion following the news that Kevin Durant will join the Golden State Warriors next season.

The former MVP and seven-time All Star broke Oklahoma City Thunder hearts by deciding to take up the offer of last season’s beaten NBA finalists, where he will join an roster packed with elite talent, including the two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Linked with a host of teams after it became clear a move away from Oklahoma could be on the cards, Durant opted for a two-year deal worth a whopping $54.3 million with Golden State, joining a team that are expected to now be even stronger than they were last year.

For a team that lost only nine regular season games in 2015/16, it’s hard to see how the Warriors could improve on last year, but it will be in the postseason where Durant’s experience and big game performances will become crucial. It was a lack of experience that played a part in Golden State failing to turn their incredible regular season into a NBA Championship winning one. Despite cruising their way into the finals, the Warriors couldn’t quite get over the line, with a LeBron James-inspired Cleveland team lifting the trophy for the first time in their history with a Game 7 win.

For a roster that contains Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the addition of Durant has only increased the feeling that the Warriors are going to be the team to beat next season.

While their Game 7 loss to the Cavaliers will take some time to get over, the signing of a player of the standing of Durant will certainly give the Warriors fans real belief that their team are going to bounce back next year. They will, however, have to say goodbye to a number of players who will now be moved on to make way for the arrival of the 27-year old.

Kevin Durant to Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Keith Allison 

The first departure from Golden State is expected to be that of Harrison Barnes, who is set to move to the Dallas Mavericks on a four-year deal worth $95 million. The 24-year-old has been a huge part of Golden State’s success over the past four years – albeit coming in for criticism for his inconsistent performances – but this trade works well for all parties concerned. Joining Barnes in making the move from the Warriors to the Mavericks during the offseason will be Australian centre Andrew Bogut. Set to make $11 million next season, the 31-year-old will now join Barnes in Dallas after agreeing to the switch.

For the Warriors, though, while Durant’s arrival won’t be the end of their summer’s trading, anything they do from here will be purely to add to the excellent spine they already have. Nothing but the NBA Championship will be good enough for Steve Kerr’s men next season, and the addition of Durant to this team certainly makes that goal a very achievable one.

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