I’m breaking the rules and going to $16. As the Warriors in this scenario are a $20–21 team by my count, and the Cavs are a $16 team, it’s clear you can actually accomodate $16 on a pro team.
Also, I’m going primarily defense because defense is still typically undervalued.
C Hassan Whiteside $4
PF Anthony Davis $5
SF Kawhi Leonard $5
SG Danny Green $1
PG Ricky Rubio $1
With this lineup, you have two great rim protectors and two of the best rebounders in the league (always a Golden State weakness), three wing pests you could switch on to Curry, as well as a point guard who’s going to run him all over the court while he’s playing defense (I also think Green is big enough to shoot over him and punish him that way if you switch off), and a freakish length that might be able to bother Durant.
On offense, you have three great shooters (two of which are capable of being offensive centerpoints), a dynamic playmaker, and a pretty good offensive rebounder.
I’d be pretty ecstatic with this as my starting five.
Coach: Pop, Carlisle or Stevens.