The Cleveland Cavaliers are still sweeping the shrapnel left behind by their roster explosion Thursday, and all around the National Basketball Association, jaws remain agape at the size, sweep and potential impact of their work.
Except, of course, in Oakland, where the Golden State Warriors remain blissfully untouched by the short- or probably even long-term effect.
In other words, they'll worry about a rebooted Los Angeles Lakers team or a reconfigured Houston Rockets lineup when they have to, and not before. After all, the illusion of LeBron James has won no NBA titles at all, which the actual himself has won plenty.
The specuguesses about James' ultimate location in 2018-19 have been as advertised -- and in that way, we mean borderline insane. The Lakers? Maybe, but only with Paul George or another name brand. The Rockets? General manager Daryl Morey would exhume Wilt Chamberlain if he thought it would help, especially now that the Rockets have a new high-roller owner (Tilman Fertitta) who likes the ripples of a big splash. The Sixers? The Sixers are the answer to every question if you squint hard enough.
And the Cavaliers? Well, whether James stays or not, it is hard to see them not beginning the long slow decline that three days ago looked like a full-on plummet.
But the Warriors, even in their current struggles, worry about nobody but themselves and their standard of play. Their turnovers are up, their defense is down, and still nobody can catch them. They remained quiet at the trade deadline for the fourth consecutive year, and the biggest thing they could get in the leftover bin/buyout market is 36-year-old Joe Johnson. None of their most important principals are 30, unless you count the slumping Andre Iguodala as one of those principals, so they are pretty much at their zenith athletically. They are relatively healthy (they are only missing backup sparkplug Jordan Bell), and their greatest vice seems to be an unshakeable belief in their ability to turn themselves on and off at will.
And though they are too polite to put it in these terms, they don't think anybody can beat them when the chips hit the middle of the table. Not this year to be sure, and probably not next year either.
And we say "probably" only because the James wildcard, while more limited than it once was, would create a different standings dynamic if he changed conferences, and only if he ended up in Houston. The Rockets as presently constructed are their toughest opponent, and a James/Harden/Paul troika would at least cause people to speculate about how the balance of power might have been nudged.
There is, though, one other possibility, and it would be hilarious. Boston. Not that there is any indication that the Celtics would want him, mind you, but the agonized look on Kyrie Irving's face would be almost incredibly gif-able.
In sum, the James Sweepstakes does not yet touch the Warriors' plans for continued galactic domination, but it could. And "could" doesn't interest a team whose only true enemy is itself.