The Golden State Warriors are still considered one of the best teams in the NBA, even with the loss of Kevin Durant due to free agency.  Don’t get me wrong, they are going into this next season as an underdog due to the loss of KD and to the devastating knee injury to Klay Thompson that had happened during the 2019 NBA Finals. This rules him out of this new season until at least the NBA All-Star break. When he does come back, I believe he could pick up right where he left off, which is being on the of the best clutch shooters in the league. With him coming back look for Steph Curry to also click it into high gear and get more comfortable with the ball than he would be with Thompson out.

In addition to KD leaving the Warriors, they picked up a young bright future point guard D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets. He’s coming off a spectacular 3rd year, with helping his team be the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Although they did fall short to a very stacked 76ers team at the time, it did show a glimpse of where their future is headed, but we aren’t talking about them.

The Warriors are in what you could call, “searching for a new identity.” Let me explain how. With the loss of not only KD, but they also lost a good amount of veteran presence in Andre Iguodala, who I think if the Grizzlies ever decide to let walk the Warriors should immediately pick up the phone and ask for him to come back. He doesn’t just bring a veteran mindset, but also brings in being a well-known defender, and can hit a few clutch shots in big-time games.  Shaun Livingston is another good veteran bench player that was lost to retirement. He was the veteran that knew his role well, come off the bench, play his 8 minutes at a time dishing out a few assists, and shooting a few of his mid-range jumpers. He was the perfect piece to have as a backup for Curry.

I look for the Warriors bench to be a little off this upcoming season. A lot of new faces that you could say it will come down to their bench to be the deciding factor of them going far in the playoffs, but it’s a long season they could gel together quickly and be ready for that time to come.

Point Guards

Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
  • Ky Bowman *Two-Way
  • Alec Burks
  • Stephen Curry
  • Damion Lee *Two-Way
  • Andrew Harrison
  • D’Angelo Russell

Let’s be real, Curry is the greatest three-point shooter we have ever seen in the history of the game and you if don’t think so, then you have been living under a rock for your whole life. I expect him to crank it up, even more, this upcoming season with his partner and crime and so-called “Splash Brother” being out with a torn ACL. I expect him to hold the team in the bottom half of the playoff race until Klay comes back and helps the team put themselves in the top five seeds. Look for Steph be in the MVP race as well this season.

Bringing in Russell has been a questionable thing to me ever since hearing the news. To me, I still can’t see it work, but you can never doubt Steve Kerr’s mindset to make it work in his system. He’s coming off a very good third season himself, I expect him to take full advantage of not only Steph but Klay and learning from them on how to excel his game even more and be known as one of the best players in the league.

Shooting Guards

Credit: Tony Dejak/AP Photo
  • Jacob Evans
  • Devin Marble
  • Jordan Poole
  • Glenn Robinson III
  • Klay Thompson

With Thompson out for at least the first half of the regular season, I expect both Robinson III and their rookie draft pick from Michigan Poole to take most of the minutes until Thompson is fully healthy and ready to play. Poole in college is what Klay is for the Warriors, a roaming shooter who can also play defense. Robinson is also a Michigan man who is still trying to find his place in the league. He has definitely established himself as a role player, even though he hasn’t hit his prime yet.

When Thompson comes back from his injury, I believe he could pick up right where he left off, being a deadly clutch shooter in the league and help his team make some noise when it comes to playoff time.

Small Forwards

Credit: Troy Taormina
  • Draymond Green
  • Devyn Marble
  • Alfonzo McKinnie
  • Juan Toscano
  • Eric Paschall

Draymond Green in his eyes is the best defender in the game. To me, I believe that statement is slightly true. He does have moments where you could say that statement is true, but other times you see that his defense is a little too much. The reason being is because his defense keeps him from staying out of foul trouble. Once he figures out the key on how to play good defense without causing himself from playing due to fouling so much, he could be in the conversation of being a great defender.

Green’s backups aren’t much to be ecstatic about, other than McKennie being a familiar name on the roster for that position. The others on the list are just about to get their feet wet to what the NBA is all about. McKennie is a solid backup, he’s a high flyer and can play some solid defense for his short spurts on the court.

Power Forwards

Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports
  • Marquese Chriss
  • Alen Smailagič
  • Omari Spellman

Centers

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
  • Kevon Looney
  • Kavion Pippen

The way the Warriors set up, they love to play fast and occasionally small, hence why they don’t really keep around the same big man for long periods of time. Throughout their championship runs, they had: JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia,  Andrew Bogut, and Looney. But it seems that Looney has made a good impression on not only his team but also the coaching staff because he got a multi-year deal with the team. He did a good job in the finals against the Raptors on the inside, by grabbing boards and getting garbage points.

Cauley-Stein is coming from the Sacramento Kings. He took a while to find his stride in the league but I believe he is finding his own. With the new coaching staff and the mindset the staff has on winning, I believe he can become a better player than he was last year. Smailagič is a Rookie out of Serbia who was very impressive during the Summer League. I don’t expect him to have a huge impact at the start of his career, but I do believe that he could bring a lot to the table once he gets the chance to showcase his talents.

Coach

Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

Steve Kerr has shown throughout his career that he has been more of a player all along. With the three rings that he has gotten with the Warriors, he in my eyes has solidified himself a spot in the Hall of Fame. He’s a good coach with a big winning mentality that he has gotten from the many different talented players he has played with along the way; Jordan, Pippen, Duncan, Parker, just to name a few.

Now, he has taken the winning mentality that he has gotten from those Hall of Fame players and the mindset he learned from Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich from the coaching perspective. I don’t believe him chasing rings is done just yet, they just have a minor set back due to injuries and trying to figure out their veteran presence on the bench.

Project Lineup/Roster Cuts

  • PG: Stephen Curry
  • PG/SG: D’Angelo Russell
  • SF: Glenn Robinson III
  • SF/PF: Draymond Green
  • C: Willie Cauley-Stein
  • Sixth Man: Kevon Looney
  • Key Role Players: Alen Smailagič, Alfonzo McKennie
  • Rest of the bench: Jordan Poole, Alec Burks, Jacob Evans, Eric Paschall, Marquese Chriss, Omari Spellman
  • Two-way Contracts: Damion Lee, Ky Bowman
  • Roster Cuts: Devyn Marble, Kavion Pippen, Andrew Harrison

The great thing about this team is they can play big or small at any time of a game, that’s what made them so deadly last year. Going small it allowed the team to suck the big from outside the paint and gave Curry, or Thompson to make a move and drive to the paint for an easy layup. This also allowed the team to outrun a team on fast breaks and even to play more games on the outside around the three-point line.

With them going Big, they could match up with any team and still have Thompson bring up the ball as their point guard. But with many rosters moves this offseason, they would have to figure out if this method can still be run with this new roster. I could see them going small with Alfonzo McKennie running the five spot, IF NEEDED, but other than that it would be a little difficult to see it done.

I don’t expect this team to go out there and be great and pick up right where they left off from last season. I can see them starting in playoff contentions but more towards the bottom of the playoff, but once Thompson comes back from injury and gets back in rhythm I can see this team being in the top five spots.

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