Summer Forecast: 2016-17 Western Conference champions

How could the Warriors' super team fail? (2:01)

Amin Elhassan breaks down how it is still possible for the Warriors to not succeed even with Kevin Durant on their team. (2:01)

After winning an NBA-record 73 games during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors battled back from a 3-1 deficit to overcome Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals.

Now with Durant on their side, is a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals a foregone conclusion for the Warriors? Or could teams like the San Antonio Spurs or LA Clippers give Golden State a run for its money?

We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict which team will emerge as Western Conference champions in 2016-17. Then we totaled up the ballots, with a first-place vote receiving five points, a second-place vote receiving three and a third-place vote receiving one. (Here's how ESPN Forecast works.)

To participate in the discussion, #ESPNForecast is the Twitter hashtag to use.

So who will be best in the West? Read on.

Western Conference champ projections

1. Golden State Warriors
Projected record: 67-15
First-place votes: 47
Points: 235

2. San Antonio Spurs
Proj. record: 57-25
First-place votes: 0
Points: 108

3. LA Clippers
Proj. record: 52-30
First-place votes: 0
Points: 63

4. Utah Jazz
Proj. record: 45-37
First-place votes: 0
Points: 9

5. Portland Trail Blazers
Proj. record: 46-36
First-place votes: 0
Points: 5

T-6. Oklahoma City Thunder
Proj. record: 44-38
First-place votes: 0
Points: 1

T-6. Memphis Grizzlies
Proj. record: 43-39
First-place votes: 0
Points: 1

T-6. Dallas Mavericks
Proj. record: 40-42
First-place votes: 0
Points: 1