With their season officially over, the Golden State Warriors will face an offseason unlike any other in recent memory, potentially starting a new era.
When Kevin Durant departed from the Golden State Warriors after the conclusion of last season, many believed that the 2019-20 season would start a new era. Had things gone according to plan, those people would not have been wrong, but nobody could have predicted how things transpired.
With Klay Thompson ruled out for the entire season due to ACL rehab, Stephen Curry breaking his hand four games into the season, and D’Angelo Russell shipped off, the Warriors spiraled out of control fast.
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Any team that loses its top two players to injury is going to be in rough shape, and it certainly showed with the Warriors.
At the conclusion of their lackluster season, despite finishing with a 15-50 record, the team set themselves up for a promising future.
With a busy offseason ahead, a new era in Golden State will take full effect to start the 2020-21 season, and at the moment, it is shaping up to be very exciting.
Aside from the obvious of getting both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back on the court together, the team’s newest acquisition Andrew Wiggins is also appearing to be a significant addition.
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The Warriors traded Russell to acquire Wiggins at the trade deadline last season, and although the forward could never fill the void left by Durant, nobody expected him to do such a thing.
The addition of Wiggins does not elevate a healthy Golden State team above the rest of the NBA into solidified title favorites as Durant did, but it certainly helps.
The 25-year-old needed a change of scenery after five and a half seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and there were not many better situations than the Warriors.
Wiggins now gets to play alongside the undoubtedly the most dynamic backcourt in the league under one of the current best coaches, and could very well mold into the third star the Warriors desperately need.
Arguably the most significant question mark heading into the offseason surrounds the team’s upcoming draft pick, projected to be very high in the lottery.
Constructed to win now, trading away the pick for experienced players that could make an immediate impact seems like the right move to make. However, keeping it might not be such a bad idea either.
The most apparent hole in their starting lineup on paper is the center position, currently occupied by Marquese Chriss. If the team believes that a prospect such as James Wiseman could be a useful addition to help their title aspirations, they could potentially have the option to select him.
While many of the other NBA teams will be contending for a title in a few months, the Golden State Warriors will be preparing for another title run next season with a rejuvenated roster.
All in all, this season might have been an unwelcome change after three championships in five years, but it prepped them for another half-decade or more of genuine contention.
It will be strange to see another team other than the Warriors represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this season, but it looks as if they could be right back next year.
Without Durant, the Warriors are no longer the NBA title favorites every year, and to see how they adjust to that next season will be interesting.
This team could potentially look a lot different next season, and start a new era for this organization moving forward.