Toronto Raptors: What if Kyle Lowry’s championship-winning shot had gone in?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Kevin Durant (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

What do the Warriors look like right now?

Durant still leaves, as his injury had already occurred earlier in Game 5 – and some reports indicate that he may have been headed to Brooklyn regardless of how the Finals had played out.

Since there’s no Game 6 of the series, though, that means that Klay Thompson wouldn’t have played and torn his ACL. The Curry-Thompson-Green core would still be healthy and intact heading into the 2019 offseason.

Would the Warriors still have targeted D’Angelo Russell in free agency? Russell already might be a clunky fit next to Curry, given his ball dominance and high pick-and-roll usage in Brooklyn. The New York Times’ Marc Stein asserted that Russell will eventually be traded for assets at a position of need (despite what Warriors GM Bob Meyers says). With a healthy Thompson for an entire season, it would’ve made little sense to pay Russell max money.

Still, Golden State didn’t have many options, given that Durant chose Brooklyn as an unrestricted free agent. The Warriors didn’t have cap space to sign a player of Russell’s salary outright. They likely would’ve chosen to do the sign-and-trade with the Nets anyway, add Russell to start the year, and eventually trade him.

If Lowry had made the shot, the only difference is that Thompson would’ve started the season at small forward next to the Curry-Russell backcourt.