2020 Offseason Outlook - Golden State Warriors


Overview


At the suspension of the 2019-2020 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors had a record of 15-50 which placed them at 15th in the Western Conference and 30th in the league. The Warriors have put up the worst record in the league which seems strange or a team that made the finals just last season, but their disappointing season was not without its’ reasons. First of all, the warriors lost a number of key players during the offseason including Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala which hurt their talent at the top end. They have also had an injury plagued season with Klay Thompson missing the season due to an ACL injury, Steph Curry missing most of the season with a broken hand and players like Draymond Green and Kevon Looney missing significant time with smaller injuries. Because of this, the Warriors consistently posted starting line ups filled with G-league players and rookies who did not have the experience to match up with other NBA teams. The good news is that the Warriors get rewarded with the top projected pick in this year’s draft and their stars should return fully healthy at the beginning of next season making them instant championship contenders again for the foreseeable future. Their main focuses this offseason with be to draft well with their rare top pick, make sure all their players are healthy come the start of next season and sign some veterans to solidify their usually weaker bench.


Salary Cap


Currently, the Golden State Warriors have 10 players with guaranteed contracts for the 2020-2021 NBA season with no players having any options this offseason. There are three players with non-guaranteed contracts in Ky Bowman, Mychal Mulder and Juan Toscano-Anderson. I believe the warriors will keep Ky Bowman while letting the other contracts go in order for them to keep some cap space to sign veterans. The Warriors will not have any free agents heading into the 2020 offseason so their focus can move away from retaining players and move to signing veteran free agents and drafting well. The Warriors will have a $5.7 million tax-payer mid-level exception available to them as well as a massive $17.2 million trade exception from the loss of Andre Iguodala. They will be well above the salary cap and well into the luxury so they can only sign cheap players and use their exceptions to add talent to the roster.


Depth Chart –

Free Agency


The Golden State Warriors will enter free agency as one of the most expensive teams in the NBA and will therefore have no salary cap available to spend. They can however focus on bringing in some veterans who can provide some quality minutes off the bench and help to mentor their younger players who did not have much support this season. They also have their mid-level exception available to sign someone. Firstly, I believe the Warriors should use their mid-level exception to sign Aron Baynes. He has had a great season in Phoenix and was a critical player for two seasons in Boston prior to that. Baynes can help their lacking depth at the center position and is also able to space the floor which is critical in Golden State. After breaking Curry’s hand this season, Baynes can make it up to him by providing quality minutes off the bench and mentoring their younger big men. The Warriors can also look to sign veterans like Raul Neto and Jared Dudley on cheap deals just to fill out their roster and provide some further experience to the team as they continue their streak of championship runs.


2020 Draft


The Golden State Warriors will have the 1st projected pick in the 2020 NBA Draft due to having the worst record in the league. While the Warriors may be tempted to trade the pick along with their trade exception, I believe they should definitely look to draft with this pick. Being a championship team for a number of years means that they are rarely able to inject top young talent into their team and this is something they need to think about as their stars begin to enter the latter half of their careers. Due to the relatively weak nature of this draft class, it is hard to predict which players teams will draft at the top as they will most likely make selections based on team need over player talent. With the 1st projected pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors should look to take James Wiseman, a 7’1” center out of Memphis. Wiseman is an elite rim-runner and a tower in the paint that has the potential to make an immediate impact in the NBA. He is a great shot blocker and should help boost the Warriors’ interior defence which has been an area of concern for some time. There are some questions surrounding Wiseman’s playmaking and shooting but I cannot think of a better team to help him develop these skills over the Warriors.


Summary


The Golden State Warriors will enter the offseason with health as their main priority. They will look to sign some veteran players to come off their bench and mentor their young players, most notably Aron Baynes. They should also make sure they look to draft with their 1st projected overall pick and take James Wiseman who should solve some problems the Warriors have had at their center position for some time. After a disappointing season due to injury, the Warriors should be a strong team in the 2020-2021 season and instantly contend for the NBA championship once again as they look to continue their dynasty.


Projected Depth Chart 2020/21 Season –