From 2015 to 2019, the Golden State Warriors were the best team in the NBA. They won three of the five NBA titles up for grabs. They lost once to LeBron James and the Cavaliers, and then lost to the Toronto Raptors after losing two Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
However, from becoming the most dominant team of second half of the 2010s, the Warriors became the worst team in the league last season.
But after the 2020 NBA draft, they are now back as one of the title Contenders next season.
The 2019-20 season was Golden State’s worst year since 2011-2012. That’s when they only won 23 games with Mark Jackson as the head coach and David Lee as the best player on the team.
Last season, with Kevin Durant’s departure, Klay Thompson’s season ending injury, Stephen Curry’s broken hand, and Draymond Green becoming their best available player, the Warriors ended up with a league-worst 15-50 record.
That lost season, however, may have just worked out for the Warriors.
In the 2020 NBA Draft, with the second overall pick, the Warriors selected James Wiseman – quite possibly their center of the future.
Since winning the title back in 2015, Golden State never had a dominant center. They were a perimeter-heavy team with role player centers like Andrew Bogut, Kevin Looney and JaVale McGee hovering the paint.
Now, with the addition of Wiseman, the Warriors may have become deadlier than ever.
The seven-foot-one big-man out of Memphis averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He has the athleticism to dominate the paint along with his feet work and incredible length.
It’s fair to note that he only played three games in college before he was ruled ineligible, so the sample size is small. The talent is there, though.
He is a good rebounder and excellent defender; the type of player Golden State needs especially with Curry being a liability on defense.
Wiseman joins Eric Paschall, who showed flashes of potential last season by bagging an All-Rookie First Team selection, with averages of 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
The Warriors now have a solid, promising, young frontline with those two on the team.
Add the fact that Curry is healthy, rested and primed to have big season, and there’s good reason for Dubs fans to be excited.
The Klay Thompson Factor
While the drafting of Wiseman gives fans reason to rejoice, they were also dealt a blow before the draft with the news that Thompson could miss significant time again.
The two-way sharpshooter suffered another leg injury during his workout recently. Nothing has been confirmed yet, while they wait for tests, but there are rumors that the Warriors fear an Achilles tear. If his tests show that, then he’s going to be gone for the season, and may not be the same again.
It’s one thing to try to come back from an ACL tear or an Achilles tear. It’s quite something else to try to come back from both devastating injuries.
With Curry, Green, Wiseman, Paschall and Andrew Wiggins on the squad, there is no question that the Warriors will be more competitive than last season, and that the defending champs LA Lakers will have an additional problem to deal with in the crowded Western Conference.
Even if Thompson misses another year, I believe that the Warriors will still be competitive and they’d still be a playoff contender. They’ll make some noise, but will likely be unable to win it all without Thompson being the second-best player of the team.
Nevertheless, the upcoming season is still going to be a treat for Golden State fans as their team is finally back in the mix for the title.
Will GSW be a title contender next season? Can Curry carry them without Thompson? Sound off below in the comment section.