Golden State Warriors: Offseason To-Do List
The Golden State Warriors have a lot of prove entering this upcoming season. They need to prove that they can seriously contend for an NBA title, which is easier said than done. Joe Lacob and Bob Myers have some major decisions to make this offseason in order to give this team a chance at contending.
The biggest need for the Warriors at the end of the season was hiring a new head coach, which they did yesterday. Steve Kerr will be the head coach for the Warriors next season. Given the fact that he doesn’t have any NBA coaching experience, it’s unclear yet what type of coach he will be and if he is the right coach for this team.
Hopefully for the Warriors, he will be defensive-minded, set up a better offensive system with a stronger emphasis on the transition game, bring the best out of young players like Harrison Barnes, and get along with Stephen Curry and help him develop into even more of a superstar. He certainly has a lot on his plate going into this upcoming season, especially since he’s inexperienced.
Whether or not firing Mark Jackson will ultimately prove to be the right or wrong move for the Warriors, we’ll have to wait and see if this is a good coaching fit.
The most important task for the Warriors in the offseason is adding depth to the bench, most specifically in the backcourt. Steve Blake is an unrestricted free agent, and the Warriors might not extend Jordan Crawford his $3.2 million qualifying offer. The Warriors are probably hesitant to bring back either one of these players anyway.
The Warriors need someone who can handle the ball, create plays for others, create their own shot, and drain some threes. Blake showed flashes of this when he was first acquired, but his production really faded at the end of the season. He also struggled to shoot threes throughout the season, which was one of his strengths when he got to the Warriors.Feb 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Steve Blake (25) celebrates after a play against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Crawford can be an explosive scorer. He has questionable and sometimes even infuriating shot selection, but he can score quickly and in bunches at times. He has some of the aspects that the Warriors really need off the bench, but it’s not clear if he did enough in his time with the Warriors to earn a roster spot for next season.
Blake did a great job of creating shots for others, including Crawford, when he first got to the Warriors, but he struggled with this later on. Perhaps it makes sense for the Warriors to keep Crawford, because he might play better if he played alongside a point guard who could create shots for others more consistently. Lacob and Myers will have to consider this question this offseason.
The Warriors failed with the Kent Bazemore project, Nemanja Nedovic isn’t ready yet to be declared the backup point guard, so the Warriors need to add one or two more guards off the bench.
Lastly, the Warriors should add a player who can come off the bench and play power forward and center. Draymond Green was excellent off the bench this season for the Warriors, but he’s a small power forward. Marreese Speights provided some energy on offense off the bench, but he was often a serious liability on defense.
In addition to this, Jermaine O’Neal will probably retire soon, and Festus Ezeli didn’t play at all this past season. Given Andrew Bogut’s problems with injuries, the Warriors could add another player who could play both frontcourt positions and provide some energy on defense.
The Warriors will be restricted financially this offseason, but they can use their mid-level exception and possibly sign some free agents at the veteran’s minimum. If they truly want to add enough depth to this roster though, they might have to go into the luxury tax.
After firing Jackson, there’s a lot of pressure on Lacob and Myers to have an active offseason and make the right moves that will make this team a serious championship contender. This to-do list is a place to start.