It's NBA free agency time and that is causing many fans to dream. We decided to pit two of the biggest NBA dream teams against each other, the Banana Boat Superteam and the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant, to see which team would be better.
Kevin Durant will join the Golden State Warriors putting together an impressive group of superstars in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant
Another group of superstars that will most likely not happen is the Banana Boat Superteam. This is the friend group of Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. We decided to break down each individual matchup.
This matchup features two incredible point guards. Chris Paul is one of the most balanced point guards in the NBA. He is great offensively running the pick and roll and very effective defensively. On the other side of the ball, Stephen Curry is one of the best shooters of all time and the two-time MVP. Stephen Curry has never had a season where he shoots less than 42 percent from three. Chris Paul has never shot over 40 percent.
Both would be incredible assets to their respective superteams, but Chris Paul gets the slight edge. Curry would be teamed up with sharp shooters Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant creating one of the best shooting trios in NBA history, but Paul would be a better fit. The Los Angeles Clippers point guards' best assets are his passing and defensive ability. He averages 9.9 assists per game throughout his entire career and is still considered one of the best defensive point guards in the league, even in his older age.
Straight up, Stephen Curry may be the better player, but Paul is more versatile defending and distributing which would help the Banana Boat Superteam. There are only so many shots to go around, but great defense is needed on every possession. The Warriors four-some will not be able to double team, because of the massive talent on the floor, so Curry would get exposed quicker on the defensive end therefore making Chris Paul more valuable. Banana Boat Superteam gets the edge, but it's very slight.
Dwyane Wade vs Klay Thompson
This matchup features a huge age difference between two elite players. Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade is 34 years old, but Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is just 26 years old. Both players are good defenders, but Klay Thompson's youth gives him a slight edge and it showed in the playoffs. During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Thompson forced his opponents to shoot 12 percentage points WORSE than their average inside the arc. For reference, LeBron James forced opponents to shoot 13.9 percentage points worse and was one of the best in the league.
Dwyane Wade only forced his opponents to shoot 1.6 percentage points worse. Wade thrives inside the arc offensively-he averaged just .6 attempts from three per game this year- but Thompson is one of the best two-point defenders in the league.
In addition, Wade's defense got progressively worse the farther he moved from the basket, helping Klay Thompson offensively. He has one of the prettiest shots in the league and shot 42.5 percent from three on 8.1 attempts per game this season.
Wade wins this matchup in his prime, but Klay Thompson's strengths play nicely to Dwyane Wade's current weaknesses giving him and the Golden State Warriors the edge in this matchup making it even at 1-to-1.
Carmelo Anthony vs Kevin Durant
Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are both incredible small forwards, but Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors would get the major edge here.
Anthony averaged 21.8 points on 43 percent shooting from the field. Kevin Durant averaged 28.2 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. In fact, Durant took one more shot per game than Anthony and still averaged over six more points. Durant has a few inches on Anthony and would undoubtedly have the edge as he is the better shooter and all around player.
Golden State Warriors have the 2-1 edge.
LeBron James vs Draymond Green
LeBron James and Draymond Green are both versatile players who can play any position 1-to-5. They would most likely be considered the power forwards of their respective teams, pitting them against each other in this matchup. Frankly put, this matchup also isn't close.
James is the NBA Finals MVP and averaged 29.7 points, 8.9 assists and 11.7 rebounds during the series. Green averaged 16.5 points, 6.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds.
Both players are solid defenders and just about walking triple-doubles, but James offers a much better offensive game and forces more turnovers. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA and would win his matchup against any player.
Based on the matchups, these teams turn out even 2-to-2. In conclusion, this would be an amazing matchup for all fans to watch. If I had to pick a team to win this year, I would probably choose the Banana Boat Superteam, but if I'm choosing a team for more than one year looking into the future, I am choosing the Golden State Warriors easily. Every Banana Boat member is over the age of 30, and every Golden State Warriors player is under 30.
Regardless, you can't go wrong with either team and NBA fans can only dream.