Even with superstars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson expected to be back to 100 percent next season, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr understands that his team still has a lot to do roster wise.
The multi-titled tactician recently acknowledged that his current front line is rather thin compared to the franchise’s earlier championship units.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr to @timkawakami: "Right now, we're not big enough or athletic enough to get to where we want to be. But we all know that. I think Bob (Myers) would be the first to tell you this roster is far from being finished." 👀
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 7, 2020
Sure, the Dubs still have their 3-time All-Star Draymond Green, while high-flying forward Marquese Chriss displayed flashes of brilliance last season. However, they face some uncertainty with their other pieces.
The often-hurt Kevon Looney is a solid interior presence but hasn’t been able to elude the injury bug in recent seasons. Surprising first-year player Eric Paschall was also a bright light in their disappointing 2019-20 campaign, but he is quite undersized and may better be suited in the wings.
This gaping hole in the middle should be the first thing they address in the coming offseason.
Golden State won’t have any shortage options to choose from in order to fill that void. The Bay, after all, is still one of the most enticing franchises to play for. The Dubs can get their next big man from the upcoming 2020 draft, through free agency, or via trade.
Let’s have a look at the most enticing frontcourt upgrades for the Warriors.
The only good thing that came from the Dubs’ horrendous 15-50 record this season is that they were able to secure the second pick in the 2020 Draft this coming November.
While most pundits believe their best bet is to trade the pick for an already established star, Golden State also can’t go wrong if they decide to keep the selection. The team has been rumored to be eyeing intriguing Israeli prospect Deni Avdija, but they can also address their frontcourt issues by getting some of the best bigs available.
James Wiseman may be extremely raw, but he is still the most logical pick for Dubs’ current needs at the moment.
The Dubs always had athletic centers wreaking havoc in the middle during their title runs, and Wiseman seems to check all those boxes.
Obviously, the team is wary of his rather limited skillset, which might be a problem in their free-flowing system. Some fear Wiseman might just be another Hasheem Thabeet, who also had the same physical tools as the former Memphis star and was picked second overall in 2009.
If the Warriors want another explosive big with a more well-rounded toolbox, they should also look into Dayton standout Obi Toppin. The 6-foot-9 leaper’s game has been compared to a prime Amar’e Stoudemire. Moreover, he can also hit the long ball — which is a staple in the Dubs’ offense.
If the Warriors are indeed in win-now mode next year, adding another All-Star caliber player should be their priority. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bradley Beal are reportedly on the top of their wish-list, but it’s Joel Embiid that appears to be the missing piece to that puzzle.
The Sixers center’s game is pretty much tailor-fit for Golden State. He is an elite modern-day big man who will complement the team’s heavy guard play. Prying JoJo away, of course, won’t come cheap and the Dubs will have to give up a lot to acquire him.
It may not make sense to decimate their future for one player, if they can just hone a young big they get from the draft.
Indiana Pacers’ slotman Myles Turner is another name often linked to the Dubs. He may not be as talented as Embiid is offensively, but his rebounding and elite rim protection will be a godsend to Steve Kerr’s wards. Plus, the Warriors likely won’t have to give up a huge haul to avail of his services.
Another big name who is reportedly available on the market is Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. The one-time NBA champ won’t solve their defensive issues, but his ability to stretch the floor adds yet another dimension to the Warriors’ dynamic style. K-Love will certainly feel at home as the “Splash Uncle” for Curry and Thompson.
The Dubs’ most viable choice is to sign talent from the wide-open market once the free agency period officially starts. Andre Drummond was initially the top choice but said he will pick up his player option and stay with the Cavs.
Golden State could give Drummond’s teammate Tristan Thompson a shot if they want a traditional center. He will be an unrestricted free agent this year and Cleveland doesn’t seem keen on retaining him given their frontline log jam. He had a career-resurgence of some sorts in his contract year and averaged a double-double in 57 games.
If the Dubs want someone with championship experience, they could do no wrong by signing one of their former Finals opponents, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.
Both veterans have expanded their games to fit today’s fast-paced system and are no slouches on the defensive end. Ibaka, of course, is younger and will have more of an impact right away.
Another possible target is Danilo Gallinari. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward proved he is still one of the most underrated scorers in the league with his performance this season. Like Love, Galo won’t be an upgrade defensively but his game is just tailor-made for the Dubs.
He is the perfect small-ball forward and could just as easily slide to the number 3 position for Steve Kerr.