After winning two of the three most recent NBA championship trophies, the Golden State Warriors still made another splash in free agency.
It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of this team, with so much star power already in the mix, improving. Yet the Warriors found a way to do exactly that when they added DeMarcus Cousins to their roster during the offseason. While he is still on the mend from his torn Achilles, Golden State will eventually provide one of the most fascinating starting lineups in memory.
We looked at the starting lineup and rotation for the Warriors after signing Cousins to a one-year deal.
DeMarcus Cousins, Big Man
Draymond Green, Forward
Kevin Durant, Forward
Klay Thompson, Guard
Stephen Curry, Guard
All five of these players made an All-NBA team during the 2015-16 season. Combined, this group has already appeared in 25 All-Star games. Somehow, the oldest player in the starting lineup is Stephen Curry – who is just 30. It is unclear when DeMarcus Cousins will return from his injury, but all signs point to him looking like a perfect fit even if he plays as more of a perimeter threat than ever before. But it’s worth noting that even without Cousins, it’s obvious that Golden State is still primed for success.
The Warriors have outscored opponents by 13.3 points per 100 possessions when Curry was on the court with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson during the regular season. This four-man group outscored opponents by 16.1 points per 100 during the postseason. But they boasted a net rating of 22.6 during their first regular season on the same team as well as a 20.0 during their first postseason run. It’s possible that this group could have the best offensive rating of any five-man grouping ever. It’s somehow not unreasonable to expect these starters to score as many as 1.30 points per possession.
Last year, Golden State had the most efficient offense in the league. No other team scored more points per possession when the offense was run by the ball handler in the pick and roll or when shooting off screens. The Warriors also had the best field goal percentage when running a transition offense and they scored the most points when cutting to the basket. Golden State had the most productive three-point offense (1.14 PPP) as well as midrange offense (0.91 PPP) and offense within 17 feet of the basket (0.99 PPP) last season. They’ve only improved adding Cousins, even though it’s unclear when he returns after recovering from his injury.
Jordan Bell, Big Man
Kevon Looney, Forward
Andre Iguodala, Forward
Jacob Evans, Guard
Shaun Livingston, Guard
While the Warriors have not yet re-signed Patrick McCaw, the second unit for Golden State remains one of the youngest it has ever looked during their successful reign of dominance. Jordan Bell, who started thirteen games as a rookie last season, will likely slate into the starting lineup while they wait for Cousins to recover from his injury. Otherwise, we can expect developmental minutes for rookie Jacob Evans and the recently re-signed Kevon Looney. As always, Golden State has a reliable option in veteran Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. It’s a nice blend of young talent with familiarity blended in as well.
Damian Jones, Big Man
Jonas Jerebko, Forward
Quinn Cook, Guard
Former two-way contract standout Quinn Cook ended up earning a dozen and a half games in the starting lineup for the Warriors. He shot 44.2 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 15.2 points and 4.3 assists per 36 minutes. It seemed even when Golden State was most injured, he was a reliable option and could once again earn his way into their regular rotation. So, too, could free agency signing Jonas Jerebko – the forward shot over 50 percent on corner three-pointers, per Cleaning The Glass.
Damion Lee, Guard
Thus far during his career in the G League, the 6-foot-6 Damion Lee has averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. While Lee’s three-point percentage dropped significantly from his first year to his second, a return to form would help give him a massive opportunity for Golden State after the success Cook saw last season on a similar deal. Unfortunately, he struggled from three-point range during the limited minutes he saw in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks. Lee, for what it’s worth, is Curry’s brother in law.
Marcus Derrickson, Forward
Kendrick Nunn, Guard
Danuel House, Guard
Between the group listed above, one of the players is likely to earn a two-way contract with the defending champions. Marcus Derrickson, who played under the tutelage of Patrick Ewing at Georgetown, emerges as the early favorite. He averaged 26.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per 36 minutes in summer league while also shooting an impressive 40.5 percent from three-point range.
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