When Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets over the summer, many people jumped off the bandwagon. With Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry being out, this season is a lost one. The But the casket isn’t closing just yet. They will be fine based on their plan b…asset acquisition. Couple these assets with the return of healthy Splash Brothers and the Golden State Warriors future can potentially mirror the recent past.
The Golden State Warriors’ Future is Bright
The Play for Potential
Filling out the roster has been a part of the Warriors’ plan that began with signing D’Angelo Russell last summer. It was rumored that this was for a sign and trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves since the Wolves’ lacked the ability to sign Russell outright. GM Bob Myers’ gamble to keep Russell in order to drive the price up is working.
The Timberwolves traded Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors in exchange for Russell. This trade doesn’t make the Warriors a title contender this season, but it does set them up nicely once everyone is healthy.
Russell is a guard and isn’t a good fit with Curry and Thompson on the court at the same time. On the other hand, Wiggins can play at small forward as long as he becomes more consistent on defense. (Draymond Green can help with motivation). The league has gone away from super teams and back to dynamic duos which should allow the Warriors to remain in the championship conversation.
Let’s face it, the Warriors will have a lot of ping pong balls in the lottery drawing. If the odds are in their favor, they’ll get a top-five pick. James Wiseman is on the Warriors’ draft board and he will be an upgrade at the center position.
Here comes the luxury of trading Russell to the Timberwolves. The Warriors are also receiving a first and second-round pick in 2021 as a result of the trade. The Timberwolves won’t be terrible, but it’s unlikely those picks will be very low in the draft. With the Warriors’ ability to scout talent, these picks should result in solid role players. If not, use them as future trade capital.
Field of Competition
The NBA has more parity than it’s had in quite some time. More teams have a legitimate shot at the title than the previous 10 years. Or so one would believe.
While top-heavy teams are no longer the norm, some teams just aren’t built to be champions. Other teams may lose a vital piece of the puzzle and end their hopes. For example, Anthony Davis can decide to leave the Los Angeles Lakers after this season. The Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers could decide they’ve reached their ceiling with their stars. Opportunity may knock for the Warriors to reclaim their throne, even if only for a couple of years.
Come Out and Play
The Warriors have put themselves in a great position for the future. They’ve locked up their championship core of Curry, Thompson, and Green for the next few years. They have also accumulated draft capital to rebuild while winning. Top prospects will learn how to win while preparing to take over the franchise.
Talk about a winning formula.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images