NBA executives see the Golden State Warriors competing for a playoff spot, though one exec is confident enough to declare that the Dubs will surely make it to the postseason.
Per Ethan Strauss of The Athletic:
One league executive, via text: “The Warriors will make the playoffs (Cue Draymond Green’s ‘are you an idiot’ face)”
The results reflect a belief in the Warriors, or at least a unanimous belief that they will make the postseason. I might personally question this belief, but there will be plenty of that to address that in subsequent columns. Bill Simmons used to speak of “trusting the infrastructure” when picking the Spurs to exceed their Vegas over/under win totals. It looks like the Warriors might have inspired a similar faith among execs.
Golden State lost Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency and had to trade Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies to free up cap space to sign D’Angelo Russell. Klay Thompson is also expected to miss a big chunk of the upcoming season rehabbing his ACL injury.
The Warriors are counting on Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Russell to lead the team to the playoffs in a Western Conference which is going to be a bloodbath all season long.
Curry, Green and Russell are going to be motivated to guide the Warriors to the playoffs since a lot of pundits are saying the team won’t make it.
In July, Curry said he loves to hear all the naysayers saying the Dubs are “done.” A case can be made Curry is going to play more freely in 2019-20 since no one has pegged the Warriors as a title contender.
That might be a sight no one in the league wants to see.