Warriors

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Publicly, the Warriors have no rooting interest in the Eastern Conference finals. Why would they?

They're one win away from reaching their fifth consecutive NBA Finals and in the midst of one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time.

What they should want, however, is a long series between the Bucks and the Raptors. And that’s exactly why Golden State should be happy Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series Sunday.

After the Bucks dominated the Raptors in the first two games of the series by a combined 30 points in Milwaukee, Toronto held them off north of the border. This series is guaranteed to go at least five games now. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo played 45 minutes before fouling out, and the Raptors were led by Kawhi Leonard's 36 points over 52 minutes. 

A longer series and more minutes played by the two superstars is a win-win for the Warriors. 

Despite winning five consecutive games and being ahead three games to none over the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors are without two of their top players. Forward Kevin Durant is rehabbing a strained right calf, and center DeMarcus Cousins is on his way back from a torn left quad. 

Durant didn't travel with the team to Portland and will be out for Game 4 on Monday night. Cousins, however, is said to be closer than KD in returning to the Dubs

[RELATED: Steph believes Warriors won't be slowed by Iggy's injury]

Even without the two stars, the Warriors have been on a roll. But players, and even one mother, know how important Durant and Cousins are in the team's attempt to three-peat.

The NBA Finals don't begin until May 30. The Warriors can have over a week to rest and get healthy if they sweep the Blazers. At the same time, their opponent could be significantly less rested, especially if the Raptors keep winning.

NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins will become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, and he just might be bound for the Big Apple when it's all said and done.

Marc Stein of The New York Times has the information:

So, the Knicks wouldn't consider the same offer for Cousins if Kevin Durant does sign with them?

If you were hoping Cousins returning to the Warriors was a serious possibility, you shouldn't hold your breath. They only can offer Boogie a maximum of $6.4 million next season.

"I would say that the hope is that frankly he [Cousins] can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters on June 14. "But who knows? Every year is different.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It's just a question of what are his goals, what is out there for him."

Well, it's safe to assume that "considerable" means way more than $6.4 million, which would be very hard for Cousins to pass up.

[RELATEDBoogie thanks Dubs fans, sends message about next season]

Will any other teams pony up big money for the soon-to-be 29-year-old? Will someone offer a multiyear contract?

Boogie has been through a lot in the last 18 months, and hopefully he gets what he's seeking.

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Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

It's way too early to know what sort of expectations the Warriors will bring into next season.

Kevin Durant is a free agent, and it's anybody's guess what the two-time Finals MVP will decide. Even if he does re-sign with the Dubs, he'll probably miss the entire season as he recovers from his ruptured right Achilles.

Klay Thompson also is a free agent. And even though it's widely expected that he will return to the only franchise he's played for, the five-time All-Star will be sidelined for much (if not all) of the 2019-20 campaign as he makes the journey back from his left ACL tear.

Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala both are entering the final year of their contracts.

DeMarcus Cousins most likely is gone. Shaun Livingston might retire, or he could be waived or traded. Kevon Looney is an unrestricted free agent, and it's far from certain that he'll be back for a fifth season.

Jonas Jerebko is a free agent, Andrew Bogut is headed back to Australia, and the Warriors haven't yet extended qualifying offers to Jordan Bell or Quinn Cook.

The Warriors selected three players in last week's NBA draft, and it's unclear if any of them will be mainstays in the rotation.

There's a lot of uncertainty right now.

"We'll see what our roster ends up looking like," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Wednesday. "Everything's on the table for us going into next year -- from starting jobs, to style of play -- we got a lot to sort through. And from that perspective, I think it's exciting.

"I think our fans ... obviously we want to compete for a championship every year, and our fans probably expect that, and we've had that the last five years. But I think next year, there will be a lot of interest from our fans in watching our young players grow, and watching a team form and watching a style form. And we'll see how all that comes together.

"But I know I'm excited and our staff is excited for what's coming."

Kerr essentially is telling Warriors fans ...

... to make other plans in early June because a sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals looks very unlikely.

[RELATED: Kerr provides update on assistant coach Adams' job status]

There already are plenty of people in the basketball world who believe the Dubs will be fighting just to make the playoffs.

Again, it's way too early to make any sort of predictions. But Year 1 in Chase Center is going to be ...

... different in many ways.

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