Charles Barkley isn’t confident about the Warriors’ playoff chances next season.
The Warriors undoubtedly will look different after losing Kevin Durant in free agency to the Nets, and star Klay Thompson likely will be sidelined next season after tearing his ACL.
“I think they’re gonna struggle to make the playoffs without Klay,” Barkley said (via NBC Sports). “I think that’s the one thing they’re gonna miss the most, even more than KD.”
Barkley believes the Western Conference has changed enough to keep the six-time NBA champions out of the playoffs next season. After a busy offseason, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis through a trade with the Pelicans, and the Clippers landed Kawhi Leonard in free agency.
“The West, there’s no bad teams in the West,” Barkley added. “There are no bad teams. Obviously, everybody’s talking about the Lakers and the Clippers, I haven’t even mentioned Denver, the Spurs, Dallas got a lot better, New Orleans got a lot better.
“This is unbelievable how hard the West is.”
Barkley did give Stephen Curry credit for leading the Warriors, but he doesn’t believe it’ll be enough to keep the Golden State in the playoff race.
“Steph’s gonna be Steph. He’s one of the best basketball players in the world,” Barkley said. “I just don’t think they have enough without Klay.”
The Warriors finished last season first in the West with a 57-25 record. They made it to the NBA Finals, but were eliminated by the Raptors as Toronto won its first title in franchise history.