The Golden State Warriors are set to face one of the most important seasons in franchise history, as they leave the Oracle Arena and move to San Francisco to play at the Chase Center.
This team has gone through some major changes even before the start of the summer, losing Kevin Durant, Quinn Cook, and DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, while also waiving Shaun Livingston, and trading away Andre Iguodala to sign D’Angelo Russell.
Hence, Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, and the Warriors are going to be on the spotlight, as most of their doubters assume they are not going to be able to live up to what they have been over the last 5 years.
Still, Bob Myers has found the way to put together a somewhat interesting squad, and while they’re obviously going to miss a player like Durant, they still have a core that is more than capable of helping them compete.
This is their projected starting lineup for the upcoming season:
Bench: Alec Burks, Jordan Poole, Alonzo McKinnie, Willie Cauley-Stein, Klay Thompson (Injury), Alen Smailagic, Jacob Evans
Point Guard: Stephen Curry
Even though Stephen Curry has already won 2 MVPs, 3 Championships, and 1 Scoring Title, there are still a lot of people around the league that claim he’s overrated. Now he’ll have a chance to finally put his doubters at ease.
Curry will play all year with a chip on his shoulder and that’s a scary thought. As the greatest shooter of all time, he will have to carry most of the load for Steve Kerr’s team, so we’d expect him to be on human torch mode all season long.
Shooting Guard: D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell is coming off a breakout season and is one of the league’s rising stars. Despite being just 22-years-old, he is already an All-Star and has the chance to take another step forward in his career by succeeding in the Western Conference.
Russell is finally becoming the player we all thought he’d be coming out of Ohio State. Overall, he’s a great pick-and-roll player, and the Warriors will have to make a lot of adjustments to help him co-exist with Curry –but there’s no doubt they’ll figure things out.
Small Forward: Glenn Robinson III
Steve Kerr already claimed Klay Thompson will start next to D’Angelo Russell and Stephen Curry once he is all healthy, but Klay will be out at least until after the All-Star break, and Glenn Robinson will slide into the starting lineup in the meantime.
Robinson was often asked to guard the opposing team’s best scorer so he’ll likely handle some of Thompson’s assignments in that regard. He is nowhere near the shooter Klay is, but is more than capable of hitting the three, so he’s a great fit for Kerr’s system.
Power Forward: Draymond Green
Draymond Green is the ultimate Warrior. He left $100 million on the table to secure his future with the team, and he’ll have to contribute way more on the offensive end now that Durant has left the building.
We already know what Greem can give you on defense, but his versatility, hustle, grit, and his playmaking especially will also play a major part in this team’s success. With Curry and Russell cutting and playing off-ball, he’ll help them find a lot of wide-open looks at the basket.
Center: Kevon Looney
Kevon Looney has made great strides since he entered the league. He became a more important player for the Warriors as the season went by and is one of the best defenders on their team.
Looney can guard all the way out to the perimeter or protect the rim, but he has also improved as a finisher and rim-runner on the offensive end. His handles are limited at best but he rarely makes mistakes and has developed a nice rapport with Draymond Green.