Warriors will make NBA pay when Klay back, Stephen A. says

Klay Steph Warriors white

The Warriors entered Sunday's game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-game winning streak and feeling pretty good about themselves.

Yet they got crushed by the defending champions in what was a very disappointing performance.

But looking ahead to next season -- and assuming Klay Thompson returns fully healthy -- will the Warriors make the NBA pay?

"Without question. Without question," Stephen A. Smith said Monday morning on ESPN's "First Take" show. "Let me tell you something right now. If Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are on the court together and healthy, the Warriors are going to the conference finals at the very least.

"The Warriors are gonna win 50 games at the very least."

Max Kellerman then offered a rebuttal. 

"They're not making the league pay when Klay gets back," he said. "You're starting to move the goalposts about what, 'Make the league pay' means. Are they gonna win 50 games? Are they gonna be a tough out? For sure.

"Might they if they add the right pieces win another championship eventually? Sure. [But] they're never going to do to the Western Conference what they used to do.

"They're not making people pay like that anymore. It is a new time."

Smith a month ago said he believes this Warriors core will win multiple additional championships before it's all said and done.

RELATED: Klay's dad explains why Warriors star loves ocean so much

He clearly is very bullish on the franchise's future, and that's music to the ears of Warriors fans (and owner Joe Lacob) everywhere.

But we aren't going to analyze Golden State's title prospects for next year and beyond at this point in time. Right now, it's about the present and going along for the roller-coaster ride that has been this current season.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Download and subscribe to the Dubs Talk Podcast