The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.
When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.
Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.
13TH IN A SERIES
Player: Klay Thompson
Position: Shooting guard
Height/weight: 6-7, 215
College: Washington State
Salary: $18.99M (final year of a four-year pact worth $68.98M one-year minimum deal, guaranteed, per Spotrac)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 89
2017-18 in review: For the first time in Thompson’s seven-year career, he played less than 90 percent of the schedule and his scoring average did not increase. What did improve was his shot selection. He attempted the fewest field goals since 2013-14 while posting career-high percentages. Though he was fairly consistent, Thompson managed to have sizzling quarters without delivering one of his trademark nuclear games. Considering his defense remained strong, he remains perhaps the top two-way SG.
Key stats: 73 games (73 starts), averaging 20.0 points (58.8 percent FG, 44.0 percent 3p, 83.7 percent FT), 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 34.3 minutes.
Season highs: Points (38), rebounds (10, twice), assists (six), minutes (42).
2018-19 outlook: Thompson’s scoring is wanted, his defense needed. The Warriors can do a better job of feeding him when he’s rolling on offense. He enters each season stating the goal of getting to the foul line more frequently, and there remains plenty of room for improvement there. This being the final season of his contract, it’s worth watching to see if he goes out of character or remains as metronomic as ever, with zero need for maintenance.