Harrison Barnes.

Golden State Warriors GM talks about how NBA Finals performances might effect free agency

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The Golden State Warriors fell at the very final hurdle last week as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals to defeat the reigning NBA champions in seven games and lift the Larry O'Brien trophy.

After winning a record 73 games during the regular season, Steve Kerr's troops must be bitterly disappointed that they couldn't follow up their historic season with the title to match, much like the Chicago Bulls did when they set the previous record in 1996.

As a result, the Warriors' brass will be considering their options this offseason and will no doubt look to improve their roster, if that is possible.

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On the surface, it would appear as though the Warriors couldn't wish for a better unit. They have terrific bench depth and their team chemistry is near-on perfect. Any new arrivals or departures could disrupt that, but clearly failing to win back-to-back championships has opened some Golden State eyes.

General manager Bob Myers has a lot of thinking to do, especially if the rumours surrounding their interest in Kevin Durant are to be believed.

The Warriors would undoubtedly have to move a few players to create the space to accommodate KD, and even then, where the 2014 MVP would fit in their perimeter orientated offense is up for debate.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Two important cogs for the Warriors in center Festus Ezeli and small forward Harrison Barnes are restricted free agents this summer. That means other NBA franchises can make them offers, but the Warriors have the ability to match any deal, should they want to.

The duo didn't do themselves any favours with their performances in the NBA Finals, and any hope Barnes, in particular, had of securing a max-contract must have taken a hit.

“I know we’re all measured in those (NBA Finals) moments, but both of those guys have been great for us and have helped us get where we are,” Myers said. “You can’t forget all the things they did to get us here. We’re going to be careful how we evaluate things and not evaluate things on one game or four games or six games.


“We’re going to evaluate it on the entire career and a lot of things that we know about people that maybe somebody else doesn’t.”

Barnes averaged just five points on 5-for-32 shooting from the field and 3-for-15 shooting from three-point range in the Warriors’ three straight losses to end the season. In game six, he failed to score period, going 0-for-8 from the field and 0-for-5 from three-point range.

Although Ezeli was voted best Warriors teammate for the 2015-16 campaign, the Finals didn't go much better for him during the Dubs' late slide.

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Four

The Warriors were outscored by nine points in his 11 game seven minutes. He fouled LeBron James on a three-point attempt and then allowed the Finals MVP to make a 26-footer over him during a 31-second, fourth-quarter stretch that gave Cleveland the lead.

If both of them had performed to their capabilities, it could have been a very different outcome. As a result, will the Warriors sacrifice their vital team components in search of another star?

Festus Ezeli
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Stephen Curry
Klay Thompson
Harrison Barnes

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