Golden State used last season just to land a top draft pick and to give some rest to their big three after the huge run the team had in the last few years. Klay Thompson missed the entire season, Stephen Curry only played 5 games and Draymond Green showed his offensive limitations while being in a bigger role in the 43 games that he played.
The Warriors drafted James Wiseman to be their center for the next several years and the hype was great again for the team with Klay and Curry coming back. Until Klay Thompson got injured again…
Without Klay Thompson available once again, Golden State won’t have the same ceiling of trying to compete for the best record in the league but they actually rebuilt the team in a way that should still allow them to win a lot of games.
They needed a solid backup for Curry and they got just that in Brad Wanamaker from the Celtics, a decent 2-way PG that earned some minutes last season in an elite playoff team. Kelly Oubre Jr. will be in Klay’s role even though he is more of a slasher type of player instead of a spot up shooter. Anyway, it’s important to note that Oubre had his best 3pts% season last year with the Suns by shooting 35.2% 3pts.
The best the Warriors got from trading DeAngelo Russell was Andrew Wigigns. Golden State would love to turn Wiggins into the type of player that Harrison Barnes was for them. Wiggins will enter his 7th NBA season and every issue that he showed in his rookie season is still there. Anyway, Wiggins lowered his 3pts vol% of shots at Golden State when compared with his Minnesota days, so there is an effort from him to take fewer bad shots. However, Thompson’s absence will put extra pressure on Wiggins to be a solid 3pts threat, one of the team’s X factors for this season.
Usually, rookie starting centers in teams fighting for the title aren’t a good combination as it’s possibly the toughest position on court for a rookie to learn on the fly. The early signs show exactly that with Wiseman expected to sit out every preseason game of the team. So, Kevon Looney might be the team’s starting center and with him playing alongside Draymond Green, this will make Golden State’s task of creating quality shots tougher. Curry is an incredible offensive player but he won’t have Klay or Durant to space the floor while dealing with two non-shooting bigs.
Golden State will have to deal with the Lakers, the Clippers and the Suns in their division. So, in order for them to have chances at being a solid playoff team this season, Curry will need to have a MVP caliber season.