Golden State Warriors: A strong rotation to support an incredible five

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Football News

The Golden State Warriors have gone through a huge roster change this summer after acquiring Kevin Durant in free agency.

To supplement the 2014 Most Valuable Player's maximum contract, the 2015 champions have parted with Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Andrew Bogut, Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa and Brandon Rush. They have brought in veterans Zaza Pachulia and David West on one-year deals and will pad their rotation with rookies Damian Jones, Patrick McCaw and sophomore Kevon Looney.

We all have a good idea of how Golden State's starting five will look next season; the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will run the backcourt with Kevin Durant playing small forward, his friend - who was influential in bringing him to the franchise - Draymond Green playing at the four spot and Zaza Pachulia playing center.

There is an argument that they could adopt an incredibly small-ball focused style by throwing in Andre Iguodala at power forward and shifting Green to the five spot, but it will all depend on how Steve Kerr sees it. However it goes, their starting lineup will be the strongest the league may have ever seen, but just how will their rotation work?

At all times, two of the Warriors' big four will occupy the floor, but the pieces around them will be vital to ensuring they get the best from the players who are expected to waltz to the NBA Finals in 10 months time.

In Shaun Livingston, they have one of the best backup point guards in the league who, while not fitting into the 'usual' Golden State style of spreading the floor and shooting from range, is one of the best cutters in the league, has a strong midrange, is good at the rim and can find capable options on the perimeter such as Thompson or Durant.

While they have a strong backup at the point, who can compliment the talents of superstars using his hard to guard, unique style of play, the two spot is an area where the team is really lacking depth. Ian Clark has been retained, but he only managed 8.8 minutes a night in his 66 appearances last season, scoring 3.6 points.

Much more will be expected of him, but there have been promising signs from McCaw at Summer League. He is another perimeter shooter within the Dubs' ranks and is lighting up the competition in Las Vegas. He could be in for a big future with the organisation and may find himself as deputy shooting guard.

Behind KD they have the former All-Star Iguodala, who is tipped to play a vital role next season. While Looney may get more game time having struggled for minutes during the record-breaking campaign of his rookie season. A good floor spacer, his style fits right into what the Dubs are trying to develop with their younger players.

They are also close to bringing Anderson Varejao back for another season to battle for the five spot alongside rookie Jones and Pachulia while veteran David West offers an experienced three-point shooter at power forward.

The Warriors were always about depth before KD, but even now their bench still seems relatively strong. They may not be able to boast 'the best supporting cast in the league' but they have assembled a team to complement their stars. Whenever they need a rest, there are players who can come in and provide vital minutes while sticking to a gameplan. It really should be an exciting season for the Warriors.

Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Klay Thompson
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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