Miami Heat team president Pat Riley knows what a winning team looks like.
It seems he’s been offering his opinion on what the Golden State Warriors can do to remain at the top of the NBA even though a pivotal free agency period may result in them losing several of their current stars.
This summer, both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are expected to hit the free agency market.
While the team would obviously prefer to keep both players, Stephen A. Smith reported on ESPN’s “First Take” that Riley has advised the Warriors to focus on retaining Thompson so that he can continue to play alongside two-time MVP Stephen Curry.
I'm told Klay Thompson isn't happy and here's why. pic.twitter.com/l9lELKbKCo
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 7, 2019
“They anticipate Kevin Durant leaving,” Smith said. “Which is why even individuals, from what I’m told even individuals like Pat Riley have spoken to folks within the Warriors organization to say, ‘Your priority had better be keeping the Splash Brothers together.'”
While it may seem as though Riley is offering his expertise to a competitor, it’s important to remember that executives around the league are close with one another just like many of the players are. Keeping that in mind, it’s not surprising that they share ideas with one another.
As for the idea itself, it makes quite a bit of sense. After all, it was Curry and Thompson that led the Warriors to the historic 73-9 regular season record in 2016. While they did ultimately lose the NBA Finals that season, and have won the two subsequent championships since Durant has joined the team, there’s no question that Thompson and Curry could return to being one of the best one-two punches in the league.
Whatever happens with the Warriors, having to try to find a way to retain two All-NBA caliber players is a good problem to have. It’s certainly a problem Riley wishes he was dealing with this offseason in Miami.