A key ingredient is missing from the Warriors heading into Friday’s opening of NBA free agency, the one necessary for a successful offseason. Draymond Green hits open waterbut Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. have not sat back and watched from the boat.
Dunleavy began his new role with a splash. Trade Chris Paul, a move that can’t be official until July 6, is one that will take much longer than that to process. Three players have already been sent off last year’s roster, two have been added through the draft and a 38-year-old future Hall of Famer is on the way.
Green is not alone either.
Donte DiVincenzo will join him in free agency as a Warrior who declined his player option. Ty Jerome, Anthony Lamb and JaMychal Green are all set to be unrestricted free agents, and Lester Quinones is a restricted free agent. Andre Iguodala hasn’t officially retired yet either.
He promised before last season that this would be his last year in the NBA. He also cannot be completely counted out until all steps are completed.
Here’s how the Warriors’ roster currently stands: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Paul (not yet official), Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Gary Payton II, Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Although he will have his suitors, the assumption remains that Green will continue to wear a Warriors jersey. Dunleavy has signaled that he expects the Warriors to begin the season with 14 players, a plan for tax purposes.
So what’s missing? The Warriors essentially have three open slots and could look at three categories.
New off-season, same size concerns. The question has been top of mind for Dub Nation year in and year out. It’s a rinse-and-repeat frustration, and keeps trucking. This offseason, that’s more understandable than usual.
The Western Conference features big men in Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Domantas Sabonis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Zion Williamson when he plays. Deandre Ayton and Jonas Valanciunas can cause problems, Walker Kessler and Alperen Sengun are on the rise, and Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama are poised to become basketball’s new unicorns.
Meanwhile, the Warriors traded 7-foot center James Wiseman at the Feb. 9 deadline, moving their highest remaining player during the draft. That’s what made them initially give Patrick Baldwin Jr. to the Washington Wizards so shocking. Baldwin checked two areas Golden State’s roster can use: size and shooting.
Bob Myers’ last first-round draft pick as Warriors GM is at least 6-foot-10 and hit 38.1 percent of his 3-point attempts in limited time as a rookie.
Warriors center Kevon Looney (6-foot-9) played in all 82 regular-season games for the second straight year, coming off his best statistical campaign with 7.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. match and is elite at his position for what he provides to his team. Looney could use some help too. Right now he has only come from a rookie.
When Jackson-Davis wasn’t taken in the first round, the Warriors were immediately on the phones, gauging interest in him around the league and what it might take to add him. Steve Kerr is a fan of Jackson-Davis, the son of one of Kerr’s former teammates, and especially likes how much experience the rookie has at a high level of the college game. Jackson-Davis, who turns 24 in February, garnered numerous awards throughout his college career at Indiana, was a double-double machine as a senior — averaging 20.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. fight – and, like Looney, has unselfish play. skills.
And he’s listed at 6-foot-9. Green (6-foot-6) is the Warriors’ small-ball center, and will certainly see plenty of action there going forward. The Warriors need another big body, whether he can stretch the floor or not.
Brook Lopez is the dream prospect. The former Stanford product is also probably much, much more dream than actual possibility.
Free agent options: Robin Lopez, Alex Len, Mason Plumlee, Dwight Powell, Bismack Biyombo
The Warriors still have the best shooting lane ever in Curry and Thompson, and both are coming off great shooting seasons. Curry made 273 total threes in 56 games, making 42.7 percent of his attempts, his best clip since the 2018-19 season. Thompson led the NBA in threes for the first time in his career, making 301 on 41.2 percent shooting, his best since 2017-18.
Still, some cold shooting from the two in the second round of the NBA playoffs ultimately doomed the Warriors.
Jordan Poole gave the Warriors three players with at least 200 3-pointers, but he made just 33.6 percent of his threes in the regular season and shot 25.4 percent from behind the 3-point line in the playoffs. Poole is on the way out as part of the Paul return, and CP3 was much more effective beyond the arc last season. Paul shot 37.5 percent as a 3-point shooter last season on 4.4 attempts per game. match. It’s not the main part of his game, but Paul is a 36.9 percent shooter for his career from 3-point range.
Shooting was a priority with the Warriors’ first-round draft pick this year. Podziemski shot 43.8 percent from long range as a sophomore at Santa Clara, and that skill set will be his early ticket to playing time as a shooter who can score in multiple ways.
That leaves Moody, who has made 36.3 percent of his 3-point shots through the first two years of his career and just shot 59.1 percent (13 of 22) from three in the playoffs. Kuminga improved as a 3-point threat last season, making 37 percent of his attempts and has worked on quickening his shot this offseason. Payton won’t be throwing up shots left and right, but he has shot 38.1 percent from 3-point range the past two seasons.
Quinones has a lot of fans in the building and is a strong two-way contract candidate. He averaged 21.8 points per game for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, shooting 45.1 percent overall from the field and 35.4 on 3-pointers. Quinones will also play for the Warriors’ summer league team.
Whether it’s the Warriors or not, no team can have too much shooting, and Dunleavy knows the Warriors could use some help. Ideally, a shooter would have some size, and it could be an emphasis on helping in more than one area.
Free agent options: Quinones, Kevin Love, Dario Saric, Joe Ingles, Yuta Watanabe, Trey Lyles, Damion Lee
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Turnovers have always been part of the Warriors’ offensive DNA for their open, fluid style. Last season, however, they were an injury. Adding Paul should be an immediate upgrade there, and the issue was something the Warriors needed to address.
They led the NBA in turnovers per game, and Poole was a major reason for that. He gave away the fourth-most turnovers in the league, averaging 3.1 per game. match. Paul averaged 1.9 turnovers per game. game, the lowest of his 18-year career. But like the man before him, Paul needs rest.
The 38-year-old played in 59 regular-season games and missed the final four in the playoffs for the Phoenix Suns. Curry, 35, played 56 games in the regular season as he dealt with two injuries that kept him out for long stretches. The Warriors need an extra point guard they can trust with the ball in their hands. They also have an option that exceeded expectations last season.
Jerome wants to be a warrior, and Kerr applauded him throughout the season for being a presence he can rely on. In 18.1 minutes a night, Jerome averaged 3.0 assists and just 0.7 turnovers per game. match. He totaled 135 assists and 35 turnovers, giving him an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.5. Jerome also comes with shooting, making 38.9 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
Kerr, Dunleavy and the rest of the Warriors’ front office and coaching staff will have high-IQ players they can rely on. The game got out of control far too often last season and untimely mistakes cost several times. The Warriors now have two of the best point guards of all time, and they could still use another player to take charge of the offense down the stretch.
Free agent options: Jerome, Austin Rivers, Dennis Smith Jr.