The Golden State Warriors are in a unique position going into the 2020-21 NBA season. With a core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, the Dubs should be among the NBA’s elite next year, while also having the opportunity to add a high-end young talent with the second pick at the 2020 NBA Draft.
General manager Bob Myers also has the $17.2 million trade exception, and the Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 top-three protected pick in his pocket. The pandemic’s economic fallout should also give the Warriors another opportunity to add a veteran via free agency. The NBA’s salary cap will more than likely stay flat next season so that some unrestricted free agents may sign short-term deals in anticipation of a bigger payday in 2021.
Golden State’s most glaring need is at center. We know who four out of the five starters will be on opening night, but the 5-spot remains a mystery. Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss are candidates to start at center, but Myers will have other options. He could take a big man at No. 2 — such as James Wiseman, or Onyeka Okongwu — or trade for a player like Indiana Pacers’ center Myles Turner. Marc Gasol is a UFA who may consider joining a contender on a one-year deal as he enters his career’s twilight.
The Warriors also need to add some additional depth to their bench. Beyond Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins, the roster is thin on proven NBA talent. Guard Eric Paschall played well during his rookie year, and if he continues to grow his game, he should be a part of the rotation again next season. Beyond him, the Dubs have young players like Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Damion Lee, not exactly a murderer’s row.
If Myers can trade back a few spots, Golden State can draft a young wing-defender with offensive upside, such as Tyrese Haliburton or Isaac Okoro. Thompson’s defensive abilities may not be what they were before he tore his ACL, so adding another player who can guard on the perimeter is vital. Again, Myers can look at free agents such as Jae Crowder to help fill the void.
Looking around the NBA, you don’t need a dominant center to win in today’s game. The Warriors were trotting out the likes JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia when they were winning championships.
Golden State’s starting lineup is loaded, so adding to the bench takes precedence. If the Warriors can get a player like Kelly Oubre Jr., or Josh Richardson, head coach Steve Kerr can unleash a new death lineup to close out games that features Green playing center.
The good news is that Myers has a ton of assets available to add a couple of pieces around the core-four.
Which position is more critical for the Warriors to address this offseason?