Warriors' Demise Has Rest of NBA Saying ‘Why Not Us?' East Exec Believes

The Warriors ruled over the NBA for five years. Other teams were hoping they could wait out Golden State's reign of dominance.

That time is now for the rest of the NBA. Kevin Durant broke up the "Super Villains" by signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Andre Iguodala was traded to Memphis in a salary dump move. Klay Thompson is out until February or March as he recovers from a torn ACL.

In the West, the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz all made major moves this month in an attempt to claim the crown. In the East, the 76ers re-signed Tobias Harris, added Al Horford and traded for Josh Richardson. The Nets added Kyrie Irving in addition to Durant. The Celtics replaced Irving with Kemba Walker.

With the Warriors no longer the top dog, teams are pushing all their chips in, even if it means trading multiple first-round draft picks or young, controllable players.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps spoke with an unnamed Eastern Conference executive who believes all the action we saw after July 1 was a direct cause of the Warriors' demise.

"Would this have happened if the Warriors are still the Warriors?" the executive told Bontemps. "There are five to 10 teams that are really, really good, so those teams are thinking, 'Why not us?' You basically would have been stupid to do that a couple years ago."

The Clippers traded FIVE first-round draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Paul George. The Rockets sent two protected first-round picks to the Thunder as part of the package for Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers' package for Anthony Davis included two former No. 2 overall picks (Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram). Memphis got three players and two first-round draft picks for Mike Conley.

[RELATED: Warriors projected to win 47 games]

The NBA is wide open and teams know it. The Warriors don't rule the league anymore.

If you have NBA title aspirations, now is the time to go for it.

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