The Golden State Warriors are entering the 2018-2019 NBA season as the unquestioned favorites to win the NBA championship for a third straight year. This is due to their large amount of talent at seemingly every position on the court, as well as their recent acquisition of star center Demarcus Cousins in free agency.
Golden State has won three NBA championships in the past four years and has cemented itself as a basketball dynasty in the modern era. This team possesses perennial All-Stars such as point guard Stephen Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, power forward Draymond Green and small forward Kevin Durant along with some additional talent, but the addition of Cousins has rounded out the package of a starting lineup of FIVE players who made the All-Star team last season.
This was undoubtedly the biggest splash made in this year's free agency, eclipsing LeBron James' second departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Even more shocking is that Cousins signed an incredibly cheap deal by his standards: a one-year $5.3 million contract. He may have suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last season with the New Orleans Pelicans, but signing a deal like this is unexpected for any player.
Cousins will likely leave Golden State after this upcoming season, but he likely wishes to use this opportunity to return to form and possibly win a championship while doing so. According to reports, no other teams wanted to sign Cousins because of his injury. He may just be setting himself up for a big payday by playing with Golden State after he fully recovers.
So what does this mean for the rest of the NBA? Other teams will have an exceedingly difficult time dealing with this juggernaut of a team, particularly those in the Western Conference. Even with teams like the Lakers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder acquiring solid players in recent years, they will have a difficult time dealing with five All-Stars on the court at once unless one or two of them suffer injuries. Anyone knows that it would be foolish to count on injuries, and any player could get hurt at any one time.
However, all hope is not lost for the rest of the NBA.
As stated earlier, there are still noteworthy teams that can compete for the NBA championship this upcoming season. Last year, the Houston Rockets nearly beat the Warriors in the Conference Finals last year, the Boston Celtics have become solid with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and the aforementioned Thunder has a star duo in Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Additionally, the Warriors may not have Cousins playing for the majority of the season. A torn Achilles requires time to fully recover from, and Golden State will likely only play him if he is fully healthy, which will take an unknown amount of time at this point.
To sum it up, the Golden State Warriors may look invincible, but there are plenty of factors that could cripple them. A championship in any sport is not decided before the clock in the final game hits zero, and it is certainly not a done deal before the season even starts.