Now that the Golden State Warriors have been eliminated from playoff contention, they’re looking to get even better. The much-anticipated return of Brandon Rush will be a factor, of course, but the Warriors are also going to have to get a couple of things out of the way in order to re-establish their dominance again. The number one priority for the Warriors, right now, it to make sure that this wasn’t just one season that they were good in. From people like Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith saying that this team has a very bright future to people like Metta World Peace, the Warriors shouldn’t be angry that they were eliminated from contention.
It was a great season for the Warriors, and again, they have a bright future. As the lowest seed to advance to the second round, the Warriors were on fire these playoffs, which saw the stars of Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes being born. Keeping those two is guaranteed, but unfortunately for the Warriors, they may have to let some players go, as they don’t want to be penalized by the luxury tax.
Jarrett Jack said he wanted to be a Warrior originally, and then turned down the player option to become a free agent, testing the market. After Game 6, a teary Jack looked down at his jersey, and sobbed about how proud he was to be wearing it, and that it was the only thing he would want to be wearing. He didn’t want any fancy suits, he just wanted to be in a Warriors’ jersey. That kind of heart needs to be there for the Warriors.
1. Re-signing Landry or Jack:
It’s no secret that without Carl Landry or Jack, the Warriors definitely wouldn’t be in this spot. They needed a solid backup power forward, and they got it. They needed a veteran point guard, and they got it. Now, however, all the money that is supposed to go to Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins is really going to hurt the Warriors. Also, Curry’s extension is set to kick in at $11 million per year. The Warriors may not have enough to sign these two.
Jack is the more desirable option, as he was third in the running for sixth man of the year. Landry is incredible, yes, but the Warriors need Jack in the game to spread the floor and help Curry thrive more off the dribble. Klay Thompson isn’t a great ball-handler.
2. Drafting a Backup Point Guard/Power Forward:
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they’re going to have to work their magic in the NBA draft. Selecting two crucial rookies in Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli really paid off last draft, and the Warriors, who won’t be getting a lottery pick, are going to have to have some more magic. Depending on who leave, Landry or Jack, the Warriors are going to have to draft a backup point guard or power forward. If they somehow manage to re-sign both of them, then this won’t be a problem, right?
3. Work on Thompson’s Defense:
For the Warriors, Thompson is a pinky toe away from becoming an elite defender. On the ball, he’s got great movement, and off the ball, he’ll get into those passing lanes. At 6’7″ he can rise up for some effortless blocks, as well as win in a two-on-one fastbreak. Thompson is an ideal defender, the one that the Warriors have been looking for. What stands between him and the elite status, however, are fouls.
Usually, Thompson plays heavy minutes, and he finds his shot when he can. When he gets into foul trouble, however, he gets afraid, stops driving to the basket, and as a result, becomes less confidence. His game is based on fouls, if you really think about it. If he learns to stop fouling, he’ll be an elite defender and player, no question about it.
Injury hasn’t been a huge problem for the Warriors, but they still have some banged up guys that they would like to heal. Brandon Rush is going to be ready for training camp, we know this. David Lee tore his hip flexor in Game 1 of the Nuggets-Warriors series, and will need to really work to get even better than he was before. Curry injured his ankle more than two times this postseason, and still needs to rehab it a bit more. Andrew Bogut? We know that he hasn’t been 100 percent any of this season. The Warriors are going to be deadly when they get all their weapons to 100 percent health.