Season preview: Golden State Warriors

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Season preview: Golden State Warriors


Season preview: Golden State Warriors

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Heading into 2019-20, the Golden State Warriors are wrapping up what was one of the most entertaining, borderline-dynastic runs in recent league history. But after the offseason departure of Kevin Durant and the injury to Klay Thompson, expectations aren’t quite as high for Golden State next season.

However, considering they still have future Hall-of-Famers Stephen Curry and Draymond Green on the roster, healthy and reared to go, we probably shouldn’t completely discount their chances in the upcoming league year, especially if Thompson can get back on the floor at some point after the All-Star break.

Nevertheless, no matter how anyone spins it, 2019-20 will be a different kind of season for the Warriors, one without unquestionable title aspirations. That doesn’t mean it won’t be an entertaining season in the Bay, though.

STAYING: Stephen Curry, Jacob Evans, Draymond Green, Damion Lee, Kevon Looney, Klay Thompson.

ADDED: Ky Bowman (Boston College), Alec Burks (Sacramento), Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento), Marquese Chriss (Cleveland), Eric Paschall (Villanova), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Glenn Robinson III (Detroit), D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn), Alen Smailagic (Santa Cruz) and Omari Spellman (Atlanta).

GONE: Jordan Bell (Minnesota), Andrew Bogut (Sydney Kings), Quinn Cook (LA Lakers), DeMarcus Cousins (LA Lakers), Marcus Derrickson, Kevin Durant (Brooklyn), Andre Iguodala (Memphis), Jonas Jerebko (Khimki), Damian Jones (Golden State), Shaun Livingston (retired) and Alfonzo McKinnie.

STRENGTHS: Despite the copious amounts of losses to their championship rosters, they still have Curry, the greatest shooter ever and one of the most efficient high-volume scorers the Association has ever seen … They also still have Green, an elite defender/glue guy who helps solidify a fluctuating roster … Steve Kerr will now get the chance to show off his coaching chops without an elite roster … If Thompson is back just after the All-Star break as some believe he might be, they’ll once again have the best backcourt in the league and a legit shot at a deep run in the playoffs … After all, without Durant, they still performed well in the postseason last year until Thompson went down, too … Russell was a strong addition, capable of taking some of the scoring load off of Curry … He fits perfectly with the Splash Brothers mantra in Golden State … They took some interesting flyers on young, high-upside big men who struggled in bad situations with their old teams when they acquired Willie Cauley-Stein and Marquese Chriss … Cauley-Stein has been hurt in the preseason, but Chriss has already impressed, flashing skill he hadn’t previously shown.

WEAKNESSES: The rotation isn’t very deep, no matter how you look at it … Their projected starting small forward, Glenn Robinson III, couldn’t even crack the Detroit Pistons’ rotation last year … And guys like Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman are going to be thrust with a good amount of responsibility that they might not be ready for … Without Kevon Looney and Cauley-Stein injured, their frontcourt looked flat-out bad at times in the preseason … If Curry’s ankle injuries spring up again, or if he gets hurt in another way, they’ll be headed straight to the lottery … They are going to be completely dependent on the health of one player, which is worrisome … The Western Conference is a bloodbath, so even with perfect health (not counting Thompson), they could still miss the playoffs.

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Pacific Division, 8th in the Western Conference.


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