Following LeBron James and the Lakers’ inevitable 2020 championship, now might be the perfect time for a trip down memory lane.
The Warriors had a dynasty on their hands.
From their first title run together in the 2014-15 season, Steph Curry and company had a successful run, making five NBA Finals appearances in a row and winning three titles.
However, 2019-20 was a disappointing season. With Kevin Durant leaving to join the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson out for the season and Curry missing the majority of the season, the Warriors finished the year with a league-worst record of 15-50.
With the splash brothers out for the majority of the season, the team had to rely on Draymond Green and new recruit D’Angelo Russell to lead the team. Draymond Green was a shell of his former self, averaging very poor numbers such as eight points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists.
Russell was a solid contributor, averaging 23.6 points and 6.2 assists during his tenure with the former champs. However, he never seemed to fit in with the team and with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson being the go-to guys in the back court, it always seemed that Russell was going to be on the out. He was eventually traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins.
While Wiggins has not played up to his star potential since joining the league, he showed glimpses of what he could develop into during his short time with the Warriors. He fills the starting small forward hole left by Kevin Durant and can be a solid contributor for the Warriors. With a starting line-up featuring Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green next season, the Warriors could make noise again in the league.
However, their main issue is their woeful bench, which was one of the reasons the team’s record was so poor last season.
The bench does not feature any key contributors, except for the surprise play from rookie Eric Paschall, who was one of the surprises for the Warriors last season. Without anyone to mention on the rest of the bench, if the Warriors do not improve their depth then they will not make it very far in the playoffs, even with the return of Curry and Thompson.
The Warriors are interested in Dwight Howard, and adding a big man such as Howard would be perfect. Golden State would also be smart to add a scoring player off the bench. A player such as Dennis Schroder or Isaiah Thomas would help the team off the bench and cover Curry’s production while he is off the floor. The team could also potentially pick up some cheap veterans or players who are willing to take a cut to play under Steve Kerr and with Curry.
While the talk of developing the bench is fascinating, what is also interesting is the prospect of the team hitting up the draft. The Warriors secured the second overall pick and could make a few moves with it.
Firstly, the team could try to use it to draft a quality young player to help them in the future. However, that move would be questionable since Curry and Thompson are both in their 30s and are ready to win now. The best bet would be to try and package the pick with a player such as Green or Wiggins and aim for either a third star or some more talent to round out the bench.
Whatever the case may be, the Warriors have assets and will have an eventful off-season with the hopes of being in the championship hunt next season.