Before Klay Thompson suffered another major injury, the Golden State Warriors were emerging as one of the heavy favorites to win the championship in the 2020-21 NBA season. Unfortunately, things dramatically changed when the other half of the Splash Brothers went down with a torn right Achilles last month. With Thompson set to be on the sidelines for a long period of time, some people have doubts as to whether Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will be enough to help the Warriors reclaim their throne next year.
In a recent interview with Tim Bontemps of ESPN, an unnamed Eastern Conference executive predicted the fate of the Warriors in the upcoming 2020-21 season. According to the league executive, Golden State would not only fail to return to title contention next year, but they may also miss the postseason for the second consecutive year.
"I think they have almost no shot at the playoffs," the executive said. "Unless Draymond has a renaissance, Steph might be everything that he's ever been and they still might not make the playoffs."
Thompson's absence would likely have a huge effect on the Warriors' performance next season. They didn't only lose one of their most reliable scorers, but also a great defender. However, it might be too early to say that the Warriors don't have what it takes to earn a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.
The Thompson-less Golden State may no longer be viewed as a legitimate title contender, but they still have enough talent on their roster to make it to the postseason. Aside from Curry and Green, they also have former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., and recently drafted No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman. If Curry, Green, Wiggins, Oubre, and Wiseman mesh well on the court and find the perfect chemistry, they might be a headache to every team that they will face next season.
Also, with a plethora of interesting assets, the Warriors are among the few teams that are in a strong position to engage in a blockbuster deal before the 2021 trade deadline. Using Wiggins' massive contract, Wiseman, and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2021 first-round pick, Golden State could land a legitimate superstar that could help Curry and Green carry the team next year. In the past months, the Warriors have already been linked to several big names who could be available on the market, including Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, and Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.