The Golden State Warriors’ season ended in disappointment after losing two play-in games. The Dubs had a couple of chances to punch their ticket to the playoffs but dropped a 103-100 decision to the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 7 seed. They then came up just short in a five-point overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Despite going 16-6 down the stretch and finishing with a 39-33 record, the 2020-21 season will go down as a disappointment for Golden State. Losing Klay Thompson for a second-straight season doomed any hopes of contending for a title. James Wiseman’s rookie year didn’t inspire a ton of confidence, although it’s way too early to write off the No. 2 overall pick.
Eric Paschall and Kelly Oubre Jr. had disappointing seasons. At the same time, general manager Bob Myers failed to add some depth pieces, which resulted in the Warriors being overly dependent on Stephen Curry.
Still, the team dealt with a ton of adversity. From injuries to COVID-19 related absences, head coach Steve Kerr’s squad was competitive most nights. Curry won the league’s scoring title at the age of 33, becoming the oldest player to capture the honor since Michael Jordan did it at 35 during the 1997-1998 season.
Curry’s bounce-back year should inspire confidence for the immediate future. He showed he can still carry a team on his back and should be among the best scorers in the league for at least the next two seasons.
Even with his offensive limitations, Draymond Green proved he can still anchor the defense while showcasing his playmaking skills by averaging a career-high 8.9 assists.
Jordan Poole emerged as a legitimate scoring option coming off the bench. The 21-year-old averaged 12 points per game and was one of the best players on the roster after being recalled from the G League in early March.
The Dubs have nine players on guaranteed contracts for next season. Poole and Juan Toscano-Anderson are on team-friendly deals and should be a part of Kerr’s rotation for the 2021-22 campaign.
That leaves Golden State will three open roster spots. Veteran Kent Bazemore played admirably and could be brought back at the veterans' minimum. Mychal Mulder and Damion Lee had their moments and could be re-signed as well.
The big decision for Myers will be on what to do with Oubre. The 25-year-old averaged 15.4 points per game but struggled to find consistency. After a terrible shooting slump to start the season, Oubre finished with a 31.6 percent shooting average from beyond the arc. He didn’t seem comfortable playing in Kerr’s system and could be used in a sign-and-trade this offseason.
If Myers re-signed Oubre, it would cost ownership a ton in luxury tax bills, but Oubre would be a solid option to come off the bench with a healthy Thompson next season. Oubre’s play improved in February, but he dealt with injury issues that caused him to miss the final 10 games of the regular season and the play-in games.
The good news for the Warriors is that Myers will have some assets he can use to improve the roster. Adding depth will be imperative this offseason if Golden State wants to maximize Curry’s abilities.
The second unit was a liability too often this season. The 12 non-Curry minutes were always an adventure, and Kerr didn’t know what he was going to get from his bench guys on a consistent basis.
Depending on what happens with the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three-protected pick, Myers could potentially have two lottery picks at his disposal this offseason. There is a 9.6 percent chance Minnesota’s pick will land at No. 4, but there is a 62.8 percent chance it will wind up being sixth or lower. The Timberwolves will keep the pick is in the top three. If that is the case, the pick becomes unprotected and convey to the Dubs in 2022.
Because of their back-to-back play-in losses, Golden State is also in the lottery, albeit with minimal chances of moving up. The Warriors will have the 14th best odds in the lottery and just a 2.4 percent chance of moving into the top four.
Myers could package both picks to acquire another proven veteran player, who elect to keep the two selections to add some young pieces to prepare for a post-Curry world. There has been some talk that the team should include Wiseman in a trade package, but it would be tough selling low on him after just one season.
The other major item to address this offseason is Curry’s extension. He can sign a four-year deal worth up to $215.4 million that would keep Curry in the Bay Area through the 2025-26 season. There is little doubt owner Joe Lacob will open up his checkbook to keep the two-time MVP with the organization for the rest of his career, but it remains to be seen if Curry will give the Dubs a hometown discount.
It’s going to be another busy offseason for the Warriors. They will return the Big 3 and, with the right moves, could be back in title contention again next year.
What would you like to see Golden State do this offseason? Do you think Myers should try and trade the two picks?