Many expect the Golden State Warriors to be back into title contention for the 2020-21 NBA season. How can they not? Stephen Curry (fractured wrist) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) have both recovered from their injuries.
Well, “many” doesn’t include retired NBA veteran Richard Jefferson, and he shared as much in his recent appearance on ESPN’s The Jump:
Don’t get too riled up, though, Dubs Nation. Like the good majority of hoop fans, Jefferson still sees Curry and Thompson as the deadly combo that they are.
“They are the best backcourt and they are going to be the best backcourt until they probably retire at this point.”
It’s just that he has reservations on their overall impact, which, if you listen to his reasoning, isn’t exactly a bad point. You have to acknowledge that the two went through a lot.
“But this is the issue about next season — the Revenge Tour, quote-unquote. Steph hasn’t played very much basketball in the last year. Klay has missed an entire season of basketball. You have to condition yourself — I don’t care — they aren’t even going to the minicamps. I know these guys are going to be in shape, I know these guys are going to be tough — I’m not saying that. But there is something about being 30 years old and missing an entire season of basketball.”Richard Jefferson
Besides the age thing, keep in mind that Steph only played five games this past season and Klay will have missed 18-19 months of real NBA action once he steps back into the floor. While the firepower could still be top-notch, possible rust cannot be discounted.
But, of course, one can also say that all of that is counterintuitive. Maybe it’s good that they missed time and had a year to heal up physically and mentally? Aside from injuries, it’s considered that ‘championship fatigue’ also cost the Warriors the 2019 finals, which was their fifth-straight finals series. There were a couple of moments of team turmoil in the middle of all that too.
Whichever it may be, it’s pretty safe to say that players and fans alike are looking forward to seeing the Splash Brothers again, along with the official reformation of their trio with former Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green.
The Warriors also have an interesting supporting cast and endless options for their great collection of assets, one that puts them in position to possibly rebuild and contend beyond the trio’s prime years. They have Andrew Wiggins, who suddenly has trade value, the second overall pick in this year’s draft, and the thinly-protected 2021 first-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Watch out for the young guys too. Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, and Damion Lee gained good experience in 2019-20. They may become one of the new top bench mobs in the league soon.
Paschall, in particular, impressed in his rookie year this past season. As a second-round pick, he put up 14 points per game on 49.7% shooting and made First Team All-Rookie.