The Golden State Warriors were arguably the most dominant team in recent NBA history. But all good things come to an end, and so did the GSW dynasty. After reaching the NBA finals 5 times in the last 5 years, Golden State Warriors had one of the most dreadful seasons this year.
While Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn nets, Klay Thompson was still missing as he was recovering from a torn ACL. During the fourth game of the season, Steph Curry injured his wrist and was ruled out for the next three months. This left just Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russel to carry the majority of the load for the rest of the season.
However, this duo didn't survive too long at Golden State Warriors. D-Lo was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Angre Wiggins in February. GSW ended up with the worst record in the West and failed to qualify for the playoffs, a first in 7 years.
Just when it seemed like the Golden State Warriors have hit the rock bottom, this year's Draft Lottery showed there might be some silver lining after all. The Warriors secured #2 lottery pick, which will allow them to pick the second-best draft prospect for the upcoming season. This has opened a lot of possibilities for the 2018 champions as they look to make a run for the title once again next season. As strange as it was to watch the mighty Golden State Warriors fall to the bottom this year, we might just see them being back on the very top next year!
Here are five reasons why Golden State Warriors can win the NBA championship next year:
#1. The splash brothers are back!
This should be a no-brainer. The splash brothers are the backbone of Golden State Warriors and the prime reason for their success in the last decade. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are undoubtedly the greatest shooting duo in the history of basketball. GSW can outscore any opponent in the league if these two guards get going from beyond the arc.
Klay Thompson has now fully recovered from the ACL injury and will be raging to start the next season on a high note. Steph Curry is also injury free and fully fresh due to the extended rest period. The Warriors got their fair share of hate this season and the splash brothers are more than ready to come back and prove the critics wrong. Along with Draymond Green, the splash brothers are eager to prove the world that they're still among the elite teams in basketball.
#2. GSW Rookies have shown potential
While last year's top draft pick Jordan Poole didn't meet the expectations, their #41 pick Eric Paschall has been a pleasant surprise. He averaged an impressive 14 points with 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists this season.
Marquese Chriss, the 2016-draftee has also shown promise with the Golden State Warriors. After a mediocre start to his career, Marquese had his best year this season with 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds. If Jordan Poole can work on his game in the offseason, the Warriors have a solid young unit who could play a valuable role alongside their 'Big 3'.
#3. Andrew Wiggins could be the next Andre Iguodala
Going by the standards set for #1 draft picks, Andrew Wiggins has been a let down so far. But this won't change the fact that he's still a good scorer averaging almost 20 points per game and a great 3rd scoring option for the Golden State Warriors. But an interesting story-line is how GSW is working on improving Wiggins' defensive abilities and make him a reliable 2-way player.
Draymond Green, the leader of Warriors' defense has taken upon himself the task of developing Wiggins into an "All-Defensive type player". In a recent interview, Draymond said:
I think he can be an All-Defensive (team) player,” Green said after practice Wednesday. “That’s one of my goals for him, as the leader of this team, one of my things that I really want to push him on. He has all the tools. He has the athleticism. He reminds me a lot of Kevin (Durant), where they’re both long and lanky, but agile and can move. Very skinny guys, but not weak. From that aspect, it reminds me a lot of Kevin.
If Draymond and Steve Kerr succeed in elevating Wiggins' defensive abilities, he'll be an invaluable asset for the Golden State Warriors in the future.
#4. Draft James Wiseman
Golden State Warriors secured #2 draft pick in the lottery. But they might still get the guy they were looking for all along! At 7 ft 1, James Wiseman managed to impress the fans around the country in spite of playing just 3 games in college.
If Golden State Warriors decide to draft a rookie to play alongside their other star players, James would be at the top of their list. With his spectacular shot-blocking abilities and strong offensive presence in the paint, he would be a great fit alongside Steph, Klay, and Draymond.
Golden State Warriors management has already expressed their desire to dominate the league for a long time 'like the Spurs'. A young talent like James, along with Wiggins and Erik Paschall could develop into a strong core for the Warriors post the splash-brothers era.
#5. Golden State Warriors can trade for another superstar
If Warriors don't want to wait for a rookie to develop but instead want someone who is battle-ready to play for the Championship next year, they have the flexibility to do so. They can offer a lucrative package with #2 draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, and a future draft pick and trade for a big star. Fans are already coming up with trade scenarios where they could land a superstar like Giannis or Joel Embiid. Though it's unlikely they could make a blockbuster deal like this, stranger things have happened in the past (Remember Kevin Durant?).
All in all, Golden State Warriors have enough assets and draft picks to offer in exchange for another superstar who can help the Big 3 win it all next year.
Published 21 Aug 2020, 23:36 IST