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Kirk Lacob is optimistic Warriors can contend for title in 2021

The Dubs’ exec knows how important this offseason is for his club going into next year.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Warriors will pick at the 2020 NBA Draft. We know that the Dubs will have a top-five selection, which will be a valuable asset for general manager Bob Myers as he fills out the roster around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Warriors’ executive vice president of basketball operation Kirk Lacob is confident that the franchise will be back contending for a championship next season. He joined the “Runnin’ Plays” podcast and was asked about Golden State’s title chances during the 2020-21 season. (h/t NBC Bay Area):

“Hell yes. Emphatically yes. We’ve got an awesome core that has done this before. It’s our job to surround them with enough pieces to not just compete, but really contend. Our job is a lot easier than most of the other front offices around the league (because) we don’t have to find Steph (Curry), Klay (Thompson) and Draymond (Green) — we’ve got them. I 100 percent think we can contend for a championship next year. If we don’t, that’s on us, and we gotta figure out what we’re doing wrong.”

Lacob is bang on that the team already has a championship core in place with the Big 3. Andrew Wiggins is a very good complimentary piece, and if he can fulfill his potential on the defensive end, his value to the Dubs skyrockets.

This is simply a huge offseason for the franchise. Curry turns 33 next season, while Klay and Dray will both be 31 before the 2021 playoffs begin. The window to win another title with three of them still close to their peaks is another two-or-three seasons. The 2020 pick could be used on a young player which management feels can contribute immediately, and be an important part of the future with the Big 3 getting up there in age.

Myers also has the $17.2 million exception to play with, as well as the mid-level exception and veterans minimum to add some significant pieces. Looking at the roster now, the rotation will feature Curry, Thompson, Green, Wiggins, Marquese Chriss, Eric Paschall, and (health pending) Kevon Looney. The other young guys on the roster will have to show that they have taken significant steps in the offseason if they want to get regular playing time under head coach Steve Kerr.

The immediate needs for the Warriors are a center and two wings. Depending on where the Dubs’ pick falls, Myers could address the 5 spot at the draft by James Wiseman or Onyeka Okongwu. Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol is the ideal fit, but it remains to be seen what kind of offers he will get in free agency.

Golden State could also get a wing at the draft with prospects Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Isaac Okoro looking like they could be good fits.

Looking around the NBA, the obvious contenders next season are the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and depending on what happens with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers and Clippers brought in several cheap veterans through free agency and the buyout market, which will be another option for the Warriors to add some depth during next season.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are as good as it gets in terms of NBA duos, but the combined talent of the Dubs top four players gives them an edge in terms of high-end players. If Thompson can be the level of defender he was before his injury, I am confident he and Wiggins can slowdown Kawhi Leonard and Paul George enough in a playoff series to give Golden State a good chance to win.

The Warriors brass will have to be creative, but if Myers and co. can hit a couple of home runs this offseason, there is no reason to think Golden State will not be one of the favorites in 2021.

Which position do you think the Dubs have to address this offseason to contend with the elite teams next season? And which player —that is a realistic target— would you like to seem them acquire to fill that need?

On to some links:

Lacob also discussed Wiggins on the podcast. He talked about what he would like to see from the former No. 1 overall pick, and why being in the Bay Area will benefit Wiggins. (NBC Bay Area)

The NBA Draft Lottery is on Aug. 20. The staff at the Warriors’ official site get you ready with everything you need to know before the lottery commences.

Speaking of the lottery, we now know who will be representing the Dubs at the virtual event. Hopefully the Warriors’ leader will be the lucky charm the team needs. (SF Gate)

Who are some of players Golden State can look at with the bridge option? Fansided’s Tony Pesta gives his list of five players that would be a great fit with the Warriors.

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