Golden State Warriors Offseason Grades

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The Golden State Warriors had high expectations this offseason. They had a plethora of assets at their disposal and were looking to acquire a big piece of the championship puzzle as the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green hit the latter stages of their career. Unfortunately, they have not been able to move those assets to acquire a bigger star as of yet, but they made the most of the resources they had. 

The Warriors went into the draft with two lottery picks at 7 and 14. They also still have James Wiseman, the #2 overall pick from 2020, on the roster as well. They ended up drafting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody with their two selections, with the former being regarded as a top-five pick going into the draft and the latter being a prospect the Warriors hope to contribute to their rotation right away.

They also made some key free agent signings to bolster their bench by signing veterans Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica. They also signed former Brooklyn Nets point guard Chris Chiozza to a two-way contract to add some much needed guard depth. And to top it all off, they signed forward Andre Iguadala, a key member of their championship runs, to a one-year contract.

The roster has definitely been bolstered, and outside of Kelly Oubre Jr., The Warriors did not lose much either. Below are the grades for each move the Warriors made in free agency.

Subtractions: B+

The Warriors did not lose much of their core overall, but being they were over the luxury tax, they needed to make some moves to save money. The first being trading away forward Eric Paschall to Utah for a 2026 top 42 protected second-round pick that belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies. Paschall was a bright spot during the 2020 season when the Warriors won a lowly 15 games. The second-year player from Villanova was used as a second-unit small-ball big man, but saw his minutes dwindle towards the end of last year. 

His contract was fairly small for the role he played, but with Kuminga being drafted and the addition of Porter Jr, Paschall was going to get his minutes cut even more. His loss would have been more significant if the Warriors did not sign veterans to take his place. 

The other big loss for the Warriors was forward Kelly Oubre Jr. He was a low-risk, high-reward player when GM Bob Myers traded for him last year, but it was clear he was not the necessary fit the Warriors needed. 

Too often last year, Oubre looked lost on the offensive end of the floor, struggling to coexist with Curry and Green. He was looking for a sizable contract this year, but that was not in the Warriors plans. Though they saved money by not paying him, they had the chance to get assets for him at last year’s trade deadline, but opted to keep him instead. Another trade exception or draft pick could have really helped this offseason if Oubre was traded, but the Warriors only get the satisfaction of not paying him, which is basically a net zero.

A small subtraction of the roster was waiving Alen Smailagic. Smailagic was a second-round pick from 2019 who did not get much playing time in his two years on the team even though the team traded up to get him in the draft.

Free Agency: A-

The trio of Curry, Green, and Thompson are set to make $107,788,398 this year. That is not including the $31,579,390 that will be owed to Andrew Wiggins. With those contracts in place, the Warriors were more than likely not going to be serious players in the free agency market. They have close to $10 million in exceptions that will more than likely be saved until the trade deadline. One of the only things they could do is bolster their roster at the margins. 

One of the weakest areas of their roster last year was depth, which they addressed in the signings of Porter Jr. and Bjelica. Porter Jr. is the prototypical three and D forward. He was a 37.5% three-point shooter between Chicago and Orlando and provided both teams size and shooting from the wing. He will be able to step right in and give the Warriors a spark off the bench and some much needed defensive help on the perimeter. 

Bjelica is an intriguing pick-up for the Warriors. The 6’10 power forward started off the year in Sacramento and struggled until he was traded to Miami. His three-point percentage picked up significantly and he was a key role player off the bench for the Heat. He can help the Warriors stretch the floor and provide size off the bench, which is something they did not have last year.

Another notable pickup for the Dubs was signing guard Chris Chiozza to a two-way deal. Chiozza spent last year with the Brooklyn Nets as a third-string point guard. Chiozza is a crafty guard who can get in the lane and create for others. He is likely going to be spending some time in Santa Cruz this year, but is an extra body the Warriors can use in the regular season.

Finally, the Warriors pulled the trigger and re-signed Andre Iguodala. Iguodala is no longer the high-flying, do-it-all forward he used to be, but will definitely provide a locker room presence for the young players the Warriors have on the roster. If the Warriors make the playoffs, he can be a guy they go to as an experienced vet, but his role will most likely be an experienced mentor for the younger players.

Draft: A

The Warriors held the number 7 and 14 picks in this year’s draft. The thought around the league was that the Warriors were going to look to move these picks to acquire an all-star-caliber player. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ben Simmons was offered to the Warriors for both of these draft picks along with James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins, but management declined. Instead, they used both of these picks to draft Jonathan Kuminga at 7 and Moses Moody at 14.

Owner Joe Lacob has also made it clear that he believes that the acquisition of another star is unlikely in the immediate future.

“They think we ought to go get the next star. We already have the stars. And we have a payroll that’s — and I’ve said this when I was interviewed before, but nobody listened. It’s very unlikely, I’ve said that we’re not going to trade for anybody that people are expecting. Very unlikely. It’s not impossible. But if it was going to be somebody, it was going to be somebody really great. It was going to be a big trade. It’s unlikely,” said Lacob.

For a while, Kuminga was thought to be a top four prospect in this year’s draft. He showed promise as a three level scorer playing for the NBA G-League Ignite team. There were questions about his efficiency and defensive capabilities, but he was too good of a prospect to pass up. 

The 6’7 Congolese forward averaged 15.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.7 APG while in the G-League bubble. He has shown flashes of high-level scoring ability and had moments of defensive greatness while in the Summer league. Though he will need to get used to the Warriors style of play, his ceiling is very high and he could be a contributor right away off the bench.

The Warriors took Moody 14th overall out of Arkansas. He showed he can put up high scoring numbers in college along with the ability to shoot the three at a high clip. He was a prospect the Warriors thought about taking at 7, but he fell into their lap at 14. 

“We kicked around some ideas of moving back from 14 and seeing Moody there, we liked him too much. We had him a lot higher than that, we were kind of surprised he was there,” said Myers after the draft. 

Moody is very comparable to Caris Levert in that they both shoot the ball efficiently and can put the ball on the floor and get to the hole if given the opportunity. Look for Moody to get playing time right away if he can establish himself as a reliable 10-14 PPG scorer off the bench. 

Other moves:

Probably the biggest news coming out of the Warriors off season was the re-signing of Curry to another $200 million dollar contract. He is locked up for the next four seasons and all rumors of him joining LeBron and the Lakers or going back home to Charlotte are out the window. 

The Warriors locked up their best and most famous player in franchise history for the long run and it is very likely he ends his career in San Francisco. 

The other key move made was the hiring of former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson to the Warriors coaching staff. Known for his ability to develop young talent, Atkinson will be looked at to help develop Kuminga, Moody and Wiseman to playoff-level players.

Overall: A-

Though the Warriors did not make the splashy move everyone thought they were going to (at least for now), they got better everywhere else. The mix of young, high-upside players and established veterans will give the Warriors a much needed boost of energy and experience.

Players that contributed at high levels last year, like Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney and Juan Toscano-Anderson are still on the team and are good fits with the Golden State big three. The coaching and management has not changed, so stability will not be an issue.

For the Warriors to succeed, they will need to stay healthy. Klay Thompson will be a huge question mark, but they hope to get him back at least before the new year starts. The acquisitions of Moody and Porter Jr. will be the key for the Warriors as they will look to start the year off strong. 

Where the Warriors really got better was at the margins. They were able to bolster their depth, which was an issue last season. They brought in young talent for the future, and depending on how they progress through the season, they could be thrown into the fire early.

Bob Myers wanted to add shooting and athleticism to this roster and they did that. This was not the sexy offseason everyone wanted, but the Warriors undoubtedly got better, and have put themselves in a position to compete in the playoffs come next season.

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