After destroying the league for five years, the Golden State Warriors dynasty is over. Kevin Durant is a part of the Brooklyn Nets, and key players such as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are no longer part of the team. Not to mention, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are both out for quite a while.
The Golden State Warriors’ future, and especially this season, is looking very bleak. There is a massive risk that the Warriors miss the playoffs this season, without any positivity for the near future. Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell might be forced to carry this very unbalanced team for the majority of the year. Lack of defense, lack of star power, and a complete lack of depth will hurt the Warriors tremendously this season.
But, there might be a plan in the cards for the Warriors to become NBA Champs again. After all, it is one of the best-run organizations in the league with a tremendous fanbase. Here is how they can make their future as positive as possible.
1. Stephen Curry Is Out For 2 Months Per Latest Report
Stephen Curry is unfortunately injured with a broken hand and is expected to miss two months. This is just the (rather horrible) icing on the cake for a horrific season for the once-great Warriors dynasty. Without Curry, the Warriors will be lucky to even get a sniff at the 8th seed.
However, once Curry returns, he should not be rushed. Curry is a player who needs to find his groove in order to dominate the game, and giving him time to train and play limited minutes is the best way to get Curry firing on all cylinders again.
Especially after a broken hand, an NBA player needs some time to get his shooting touch.
For the greatest shooter of all time, he must be given enough time to recover if the Warriors want to be on top again.
2. Klay Thompson Shouldn’t Rush Back Either
For Klay Thompson, his injury is a bit more serious. Thompson tore his ACL, and definitely needs enough time to fully recover in order to return to full action. Thompson, when healthy, is a tremendous two-way player and quite possibly the second-best shooter of all-time. Without Thompson either, the Warriors are in a complete rut.
It is absolutely necessary that Thompson is not rushed back, and should be given the maximum amount of time he might need to recover. If he does return this season, he needs around 10 games to get used to playing at full force on the NBA court. If not, it might be best to rest Thompson for the entire season.
Keeping Thompson out for the year will allow full recovery from his injury with limited risk of a repeated injury.
3. Golden State Warriors Must Trade D’Angelo Russell
The next step is to trade D’Angelo Russell. The Warriors were lucky to get something out of Kevin Durant leaving and acquiring Russell was a massive addition to a completely decimated team. At the very least, Russell is one of the most attractive trade pieces.
Russell is a young player with tons of potential. He has improved every year he has been in the league, and he has a chance to one day become a superstar player. But who should the Warriors move him for?
Russell needs to be traded for two key assets: young players and draft picks. The Warrior desperately needs depth, youth, and a chance at high-quality players. Rather than waiting for another superstar player, the Warriors need young players to grow into their role similar to how Curry and Thompson did. They also need draft picks to acquire these young players, so they one day can field enough depth on the court with lots of talent. In fact, draft picks might be the most important assets that the Warriors must target.
To get these, there are two teams with the right assets for D’Angelo Russell.
The first is the Atlanta Hawks.
The assets they have are the 2020 first-round Draft Pick from Brooklyn, which is protected for selections 1-14 in 2020, 1-14 in 2021 and 1-14 in 2022. They also have a 2022 first-round draft pick from Oklahoma City which is protected for selections 1-14.
This makes these picks valuable for the Warriors, almost ensuring they get the better players in the coming draft. Not to mention, the Warriors can acquire a handful of second-round picks including a 2023 second-round draft pick from Charlotte or Brooklyn (second most favorable incl. Atlanta, swap, Atlanta outgoing to Philadelphia or Brooklyn).
The Warriors can also acquire a 2023 second-round draft pick from New Orleans.
New Orleans’ 2023 2nd round pick to Atlanta protected for selections 31-45 (if this pick falls within its protected range and is therefore not conveyed, then New Orleans’ obligation to Atlanta will be extinguished). To look further into the future, two separate 2024 picks, a 2025 pick, and a 2026 pick can also be acquired as well.
Atlanta Hawks can send a lot of picks and young players like Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter.
Next up, is the Denver Nuggets. They could send a very interesting offer for D’Angelo Russell.
A potential Golden State – Denver trade would be Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt, and a future first-round pick in exchange for D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks.
For the Warriors, getting Gary Harris would pair Stephen Curry alongside a defensive-minded guard and Harris is 25 years old, so he is just entering his prime. Michael Porter Jr., Jarred Vanderbilt, and Juancho Hernangomez have all registered DNPs through the Nuggets’ first two games and it is obvious the Nuggets are prioritizing winning over youth development.
These players would provide the Warriors with youth, shooting, defense and depth and you would hope that Michael Porter Jr. can develop and become the highly touted player he was hyped up to be during his high school and college days.
If the Warriors want to move Russell, they must consider the packages of picks from both the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks.
4. Tank Tank Tank
Perhaps most importantly, the Warriors need to consider this season a wrap. Give the young guys a chance to play, and just tank. Losing as many games as possible will allow the Warriors to get young players and talented stars in the upcoming NBA Draft. Since the Warriors have little to no shot, even if they make the playoffs, they should drop this season and simply lose games.
How do the Warriors pull this off? Assuming they move on from D’Angelo Russell, they will be hitting the court with only Draymond Green as their reputable player and not much else. Needless to say, this is a recipe for many losses during the NBA season. By tanking and forcing losses in the loss-column, the Warriors have a chance in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Since the Warriors pretty much stink anyways, they just have to run the course and play as many young players as possible.
5. The 2020 NBA Draft
Finally, the cream of the crop will be the 2020 NBA Draft. The goal? Acquire LaMelo Ball.
In doing so, the Warriors will legitimately have one of the most exciting starting fives in NBA history once again with Curry, Thompson, Green, and Ball all starting for the team. Not to mention, the Warriors will likely have acquired a variety of young players and draft picks thanks to their tanking and rebuilding efforts this season.
By giving their two sharpshooters rest and trading D’Angelo Russell for young players and picks, the Warriors can set themselves up for a chance at one of the most exciting prospects in LaMelo Ball. At the same time, they will have an assortment of young players who are ready to make the Warriors NBA Champions again.