Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, it was widely known that the defending two-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors weren’t going to compete for another title.
With Klay Thompson injuring his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and Kevin Durant departing in free agency, the Warriors were always going to use this as a transition season. Once Steph Curry got hurt in the fourth game, it was time to prepare for a long year.
With Thompson, Curry and Draymond Green all expected back and fully healthy for the 2020-21 season, the Dubs should be back into the postseason. But, how long does general manager Bob Myers hang onto the core?
“There is no guy you’d give up the No. 1 pick and Andrew Wiggins for,” says the Western Conference executive. “I don’t know that that guy is available. Besides, if you do go all in and trade Wiggins and the pick for some 30-year-old star, now you’re looking at your core all aging out at the same time. You don’t want to wake up and find yourself like the Celtics.”
Boston won a title with their Big Three in 2008, lost in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, before losing to the Miami Heat in five games in 2011. The Celtics almost pulled off a huge upset in 2012, ultimately falling to the LeBron James and Dwyane Wade led Heat in Game 7.
Allen left for Miami following the series loss in 2012, while Garnett and Pierce stuck around for one more season, losing a first-round series against the New York Knicks.
One big difference between the situations is age. Garnett and Allen were both 36, while Pierce was 34 going into the 2012 NBA playoffs. Curry turns 33 next March, while Thompson and Green will turn 31 a month apart during the second of the season.
The other is assets. The Celtics had no young players or high picks until they were able to rebuild into a contender when they fleeced Billy King and Brooklyn Nets for multiple first-round picks in the summer of 2013 in exchange for Garnett and Pierce.
Myers doesn’t have this problem. With three first-round picks over the next two years, including the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2010 top-three protected selection, the Warriors can add some young pieces to their own Big Three.
Coupled with a $17.2 million trade exception from the Andre Iguodala deal, Golden State should be able to add some high-end players to help the transition as Curry, Thompson and Green get older.
I don’t see Myers moving Curry and Thompson, just based off of what they mean to the Bay Area, but you can never be 100% certain.
What moves can Myers can make to endure the Warriors don’t end up like the Celtics?
Onto some more links:
Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins has said some controversial things since retiring. The ESPN contributor joined the Runnin’ Plays podcast, and shared why he wanted to play the Houston Rockets instead of Golden State in the 2015 NBA Finals while he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (H/T Yahoo! Sports)
Speaking of controversial, it seems like the bitterness between Charles Barkley and Green won’t end anytime soon. Barkley was on “Coffee with Cal,” and fired back at Green for the comments he made on the Dan Patrick Show last month. (H/T NBC Bay Area)
With ESPN’s documentary, “The Last Dance,” being prominent in the sports world right now, there has been a lot of debate on who would have won a series between the dynasty Chicago Bulls and dominant Warriors squad. Yahoo! Sports compares the careers of Green and former Bulls forward Horace Grant.
From around the league:
Continuing with the debate of which team from yesteryear would have been the best, how about the 1980s Boston Celtics? Yahoo! Sports takes a look at how the legendary Larry Bird would have fit in todays NBA game.