Barely a year and a half has passed since the Golden State Warriors’ most recent NBA championship, yet they are already being overlooked as contenders in the 2024 title race.
On the surface, this doubt is actually well-placed.
Stephen Curry is no longer a spring chicken at 35 years old while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are both already 33. To further compound concerns about this team’s age, their biggest offseason acquisition was 38-year-old point guard Chris Paul who has struggled with injuries over the past few years.
Getting through the grind of the regular season may prove to be a challenge for these aging Warriors, but this is where their younger reinforcements come into play. 28-year-old Andrew Wiggins will be in focus for this team and he has before him a golden opportunity to make his second NBA All-Star appearance this year.
Wiggins should continue to enjoy the wide open looks afforded by the spacing provided by the still-elite shooting of Curry and Thompson. The addition of a top notch playmaker like Paul, the first pure point guard on Golden State’s roster in ages, will lead to easy baskets for him and the rest of this roster for that matter.
Incoming third-year players Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are expected to step into bigger roles too. Their performances in this preseason have been encouraging and it is of utmost importance for the Warriors that they can carry this over to the regular season.
If Wiggins, Kuminga, and Moody can all do their part and keep Golden State afloat over the season, their elder statesmen, particularly the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Curry, should be able to take over come the playoffs.
Come the postseason, a healthy Curry should, at the very least, put the Warriors in the conversation for the championship regardless of what seed they enter the postseason as. He has never relied on his athleticism to be a productive player which has allowed him to age gracefully and remain one of the best players in the league today.
Despite what their advanced age suggests, it is difficult to count out a team that is bannered by Curry, Green, and Thompson. Their combination of talent, championship experience, and veteran smarts can easily tilt the odds in their favor in any seven-game series. The ever-savvy Paul also brings an added wrinkle to this team as a guard capable of running their offense for extended periods of time.
Father Time may be hot on the heels of this Golden State core, but it looks like they can keep him at bay for at least a couple more seasons. Dynasties always go down swinging and there is no reason to believe that these Warriors are any different from the greatest teams of bygone eras.