The big question for the NBA is whether the Warriors can beat the Warriors
The NBA is playing catch-up on the Warriors, but it’s not playing catch up on its own franchise.
The Warriors are the NBA’s longest-running franchise, having been in existence since the 1980s, and they are set to start the 2016-17 season with a record $2.6 billion payroll.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were the only other team with a payroll that large last season, but the Warriors have made huge strides this offseason, thanks in part to a slew of trades and free agents.
With the addition of Harrison Barnes, the Warriors now have three players with $50 million or more per year on the books: center Andrew Bogut, power forward Andre Iguodala and shooting guard Shaun Livingston.
Barnes’ contract extension is set to expire after next season, and the Warriors will be in the market for a new center.
The Cavs, who have been without LeBron James for nearly two years, are also in a market for their first big man in four years.
The Cavs will be looking for a big man that can play both forward and center.
With their current roster, the Cavs have to be looking at a player that could push for a spot on the All-Star team, and Iguodeal could fit the bill.
The 29-year-old is an All-NBA first-team selection in 2016-2017, averaging 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and he is the Cavs second-leading scorer with 18.6 points per game.
The 26-year old, who is a six-time All-Defensive selection, is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, earning a reputation as one of the best defenders in the league.
He also is an offensive force.
Iguodes defensive numbers (plus-minus) last season were among the top three in the NBA, and his career scoring average (point differential per 100 possessions) was third in the Association.
The Cavaliers will also be without veteran guard Isaiah Thomas for the start of the season after he was injured in the All Star break.
Thomas averaged 6.8 points, 4.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds per contest for the Cavs last season.