After five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and winning three championship titles, the Golden State Warriors found themselves competing for the lottery pick in the 2019-20 season. Before the league suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Warriors became the first team to be eliminated in the playoff race. Despite suffering a disappointing season, the Warriors still haven’t given up their hopes of reclaiming a championship.
As of now, the Warriors are making sure that their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are in perfect shape before the start of the 2020-21 season. However, compared to previous years, the Warriors’ road to the NBA Finals won’t be easy, especially with the emergence of powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers in the West. According to an unnamed Western Conference executive who spoke to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, even if Curry and Thompson return to full health, the Warriors aren’t going to be “as good as” the Lakers and the Clippers next season.
“They’re not (going to be) as good as the Lakers or the Clippers the next few years,” said the executive.
An Eastern Conference general manager shared the same sentiment. Though he sees the Warriors being one of the top teams in the Western Conference, he doesn’t think that they’ll immediately regain their status as legitimate title contenders.
“I don’t think it’s realistic [that they’ll be title contenders], but they’ll still be one of the top teams in the West,” the Eastern Conference GM said.
It’s easy to understand why some people think that way. Though they still have three All-Star-caliber players on their roster, the Warriors lost some members of their champion core last summer. Kevin Durant ended up leaving Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets, while Andre Iguodala was sent to the Memphis Grizzlies to make enough salary cap space to acquire D’Angelo Russell via a sign-and-trade deal. However, the Warriors aren’t just waiting for their remaining core members to be 100 percent healthy.
When the 2019-20 NBA season is over, there is speculation that the Warriors will be searching for their fourth superstar this summer. Though they currently don’t have money to spend in free agency, the Warriors have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal. In past months, the Warriors have already been linked to several superstars who are expected to be available on the trade market this offseason, including Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.