Obviously, the Los Angeles Lakers adding Dwight Howard makes a Division rival immensely superior than the Warriors. But it wasn’t like the Warriors were going to be better than the Lakers anyway.
But the blockbuster, four-team trade hurts the Warriors in another way. In the trade, Denver acquired swingman Andre Iguodala. Not only was he someone on the Warriors’ wishlist. But a team the Warriors are hoping to be in competition for a playoff spot just got better. The Nuggets were one of five or six teams figured to be competing for the last three or four playoff spots. But the addition of Iguodala (and cutting back the excess of wings Denver had on the roster) at the least seems to vault the Nuggets to the top of that pack.
You can question how much better the Nuggets will be. The Team USA reserve is known for being a Swiss Army knife on the court. But his major shortcoming is that he’s not a take-over kind of guy. He can take over a game, but dominating is not his forte. Iguodala is a great glue guy who can contribute in multiple ways. But what Denver really needs is a beast. They’ve got a lot of glue guys. Though they’re upgrading, you can argue they still didn’t fill their biggest hole.
Still, an important Warriors foe got better. That should make the playoff-hopeful Golden State fans a little nervous.