With the bevy of trades that has encapsulated this NBA offseason, it has become readily apparent that the Warriors' beatdown of the Cavs in the 2017 Finals has shown non-Warrior NBA teams that if they wish to avoid similar destruction, they need to get better immediately, or get out of the way/rebuild.
The Rockets were the first team to make a big move, trading several complementary players to the Clippers to acquire Chris Paul.
The Celtics acquired Gordon Hayward, then flipped the services of an injured Isaiah Thomas for one year for the services of a healthy Kyrie Irving for two years.
It remains to be seen what effect these trades will have on these teams' abilities to contend.
For now, however, the Warriors are still the champions of the NBA, and have a roster that is the envy of the NBA.
Several trade rumors have involved teams trying to pry away Klay Thompson from the Dubs in a straight-up trade for another star. Irving and Paul George were both offered to the Warriors for Thompson, and both times, the Warriors said no.
This makes sense. Thompson is a transcendent shooter and defender capable of kicking the Warriors offense into another gear with a few quick flicks of the wrist.
He is also a part of the Warriors core. It's safe to say that the Warriors are very happy with the starting four of Thompson, Curry, Durant, and Green.
They could improve at the center position.
Zaza Pachulia seems like a nice man. He plays hard-nosed defense, stays out of foul trouble for the most part, is Georgian, and has an inimitable voice.
But he is not part of the Warriors core. And as teams around the league continue to search for ways to defeat the Warriors, the Warriors must also look for ways to get better.
The clearest place to do that is the center position. The Warriors significantly upgraded their bench in the offseason with the signings of Nick Young and Omri Casspi, so the bench is about as good as anyone can reasonably expect.
They also re-signed JaVale McGee, who should probably be starting. Regardless, he fills his role as the first center off the bench exceptionally well.
The key to the improvement of the center position will be ensuring that Jordan Bell and Damian Jones get quality minutes at the center position this season. Pachulia is on a one-year contract and getting older. He is not a long-term solution for the Dubs. He struggles with ballhandling and outside shooting, and can be frustratingly inefficient and turnover-prone.
Jones and Bell are two cheap, young, and extremely athletic players that have upside and need to be given the opportunity to develop in non-garbage time game situations. They can make the Warriors' weakest position (not a knock, just a fact) better, and help further the Warriors' ascendance.
Steve Kerr, I now speak directly to you.
Steve, you are a great coach and a even better man. We all love Zaza. You can even continue to start him. But you have two intriguing young centers that can improve your team, and they need to see the floor before their chance is gone. They can improve your team. You should have plenty of opportunities to play them this year for extended amounts of time. Please do it. If you do, you might just be able to add even more value to your team that is already light-years ahead of the rest of the league.