The Warriors are a shell of themselves and don’t look anything like the team that went to the NBA finals last season, the roster looks completely different than what the team rolled out last year, let alone five months ago in the Finals.
Kevin Durant left for the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson is recovering from his torn ACL, Shaun Livingston retired, Andre Iguodala awaits a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies and DeMarcus Cousins left for Tinseltown.
Now, the Warriors simply don’t have enough playmakers to compete and the defensive effort is barren. Draymond Green and newly acquired D’Angelo Russell are good pieces to have, but aren’t enough to propel this team to compete at a playoff-caliber level.
They lost four straight home games at their new Chase Center arena, beginning the season with only one road win.
There was still hope that the five-time defending Western Conference champions could still be contenders with the injured Klay Thompson potentially returning in the second half of the season: Thompson is out until at least the All-Star break or potentially beyond.
However, their last-ditch hopes went down the drain when the two-time MVP Stephen Curry broke his left hand during a game against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 30. Curry collided with Suns center Aron Baynes while driving to the rim.
Originally expected to miss at least three months, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported that Curry may sit for the rest of the season. The Warriors quickly denied that claim with head coach Steve Kerr calling it a “head-scratcher.”
It wouldn’t make sense to bring Thompson or Curry back to play if they are already out of playoff contention, why not chase for a top pick in the 2020 draft? The postseason seems completely out of reach in the re-loaded West and shouldn’t even be on the minds of the Warriors.
Bring Giannis Antetokounmpo to SF
Why can’t the Warriors make a run at Antetokounmpo? Everyone doubted the Kevin Durant signing back in 2016. Analysts and critics back then said he would never join a team that beat him in the playoffs, or the Warriors couldn’t afford Durant under the salary cap. We know how that turned out.
Antetokounmpo is the reigning MVP with two full seasons left on his contract, making him a free agent in the summer of 2021. He will have a decision to make next summer between remaining with the Bucks for a “supermax” deal or looking elsewhere.
Let’s be honest, the Bucks won’t be trading the reigning MVP at any point in the next few months.
However, for whatever reason, if Antetokounmpo decides not to sign his extension next summer, it will be an all-out bidding war for the “Greek Freak.”
This is where the Warriors come in. They could offer the Bucks a package deal, one that includes trading Green and Russel with a set of future draft picks, the ones they are tanking for now. The mega-trades for Anthony Davis to the Lakers or Paul George to the Clippers have set the bar incredibly high.
It’s also beneficial that Curry and Antetokounmpo are friends off the court and share the same agency. It would require some enormous cap maneuvering, but the Warriors could potentially be in the hunt for Antetokounmpo in 2021.
It wouldn’t be easy, but the thought of having Antetokounmpo joining the Warriors with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is a reality that could happen. This is the modern NBA, and the landscape is always changing.