Opinion, The Warriors Need a Complete Reset This Offseason

Following their blowout loss in their play-in matchup against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, the Golden State Warriors are out of playoff contention.

Is the dynasty FINALLY over? 

NBA fans asked one another this question after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games in the 2019 NBA Finals. For many, Kevin Durant’s exit to the Brooklyn Nets that summer led fans and media to believe that the Dubs dynasty had reached the end of its cycle. Golden State finished 15th in the West the following season, winning just 15 games. All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson was out the entire season due to an ACL tear, while Steph Curry broke his hand and sat the rest of the season out. 

In the 2021-2022 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Warriors in the play-in game, missing another opportunity to play in the postseason. Two consecutive seasons of mediocrity, questions over Steve Kerr’s position as head coach, underperforming players, and injuries led many to believe it was time for profound change in San Francisco. 

The Golden State Warriors weren’t done, though. 

The Golden State Warriors would win the 2022 NBA Finals, their fourth title in seven years, defeating the Boston Celtics in six games. According to Steph Curry, this was his most extraordinary finals performance, and he ultimately won the Finals MVP.

Paul Rutherford, USA Today Sports

“The first one, you don’t really know what you’re doing until you accomplish it, and then you’re celebrating. The next two were a kind of validation, trying to remain champions. But after these last three years and winning that one, definitely the most special,” Curry stated in an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2022.

Fast-forward two years, and the Golden State Warriors are fighting to make the playoffs. A season ridiculed by injuries, aging stars, suspensions, and poor coaching decisions has left the Warriors lingering in the play-in. 

Not to mention, Draymond Green’s mid-season suspension and Klay Thompson’s steady decline this year have left Steph Curry to take care of business for most of the season. Curry has had a phenomenal individual performance this year, but having just turned 36 this March, the Warriors front office will need to figure out how to get him better help.

This Season’s Biggest Worries:

When I think of the Golden State Warriors dynasty, I am reminded of improbable scoring, incredible defense, and an exhilarating way of getting all players involved in their style of basketball. For me, the prime Warriors team that won three titles in four seasons, was one of the most dominant sports teams I’d ever seen. Adding Kevin Durant to an already star-studded lineup of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson created one of the most free-flowing offenses in the history of the NBA. 


This season, the Warriors have struggled to build any sort of momentum. The “small ball” lineup that brought them so much success in the past is being defensively rectified. The offense looks stale and old, with a lack of athleticism becoming one of the most significant issues on both ends of the floor. 

Head Coach Steve Kerr has also been subject to considerable scrutiny this year and has been criticized for his in-game management.

Head Coach Steve Kerr has been criticized for his rotations and lineups, most recently with Steph Curry sitting out the fourth quarter in a critical loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last month. 

“We are trying to keep him around 30, trying to get him as much rest as we can. He played for 35 minutes two days ago… We wanted to limit the minutes a little bit, not limit them but not overplay [him],” explained Kerr in an interview with Anthony Slater of the Athletic. 

Even Monday night against Sacramento, Klay Thompson played 30 minutes and scored zero points. Meanwhile, young shooting guard Moses Moody played 16 minutes and scored 15 points. Moody was one of the bright sparks that cut Sacramento’s lead to one point last night but was taken out during a critical moment in the game. 

However, due to their late integration into more minutes and playtime this season, Kerr’s younger players helped the Warriors win games, pushing them into the play-in tournament. The Warriors won eight of their last ten games, picking up needed momentum entering the season’s final games, but it felt too little, too late. 

Whether or not the Warriors made the playoffs this season, I didn’t t see them beating any of the top three-seeded teams in the West. 

Golden State may have favored themselves in a seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder or Minnesota Timberwolves because of their experience knowing how to win in a seven-game series. Minnesota hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004, while Oklahoma since 2016. 

This wishful thinking needs to be carefully approached.

This season alone, Oklahoma has defeated Golden State three out of four times they’ve met, while Minnesota has defeated them all three times. The Denver Nuggets haven’t lost to the Golden State Warriors since 2022, winning all matchups. 

Whether or not they made that 8th seed this post-season, it would be challenging for the Warriors to advance to the second round, as currently constructed.  

The Off-Season and the Future: 

A rebuild at this point of Curry’s career doesn’t make much sense. 

Ap Photo/Michael Wyke

Golden State still has some foundational pieces that can be worked around to build one last team to compete. However, the cap situation this off-season isn’t ideal. 

Firstly, what will happen to Klay Thompson? 

He will be entering free agency this year, and for the first time in his career, the Warriors may choose not to re-sign him. 

It’s been three years since Thompson returned from his Achilles and Knee injuries, but he hasn’t been the same. This season has been his worst in terms of three-point percentage and second-worst in field goals made, and defensively, it hasn’t been the same as previous seasons. Having just turned 34 this season, it becomes a significant question whether bringing him back is feasible. 

“He’s still got good years left.”And I know I speak for everybody in the (organization) — we want him back. What Klay has meant to this franchise, as good as he still is, we desperately want him back,” said Kerr in an interview with reporters after their play-in loss against Sacramento. 

I believed Klay would resign with the Warriors, but after watching her performance last night, he simply cannot be relied upon anymore in critical moments. As poor as he was throughout this season, he has picked up form in the last couple of months and has shown flashes of his former self, but he isn’t the same player anymore.

“Klay’s not going to get younger,” Charles Barkley said on “Inside the NBA” on TNT. “He’s not gonna get better. He’s gonna make less money but he ain’t gonna get no better. Older people don’t get — sports ain’t for old people. They’re for young people. “That’s no disrespect. Klay is a Hall of Famer. He’s lowered his number [in free agency], but that doesn’t mean he’s gonna play better as he ages. It doesn’t work that way.”

 Thompson stated that he wasn’t the same player he was, so understanding and valuing his new role will help him adapt later in his career. 

“I’ll be 35 next year. At 35, coming off the ACL and an Achilles [tear] and still can be a really good player. Maybe not the guy who scored 60 in three quarters and scored an NBA record 37 points in a quarter, but still a great threat out there. I’ve modeled my game after Reggie [Miller] and Ray [Allen], and those guys were incredibly effective until their late 30s. So I plan on kind of following that mold,” stated Klay Thompson in an interview with the Ringer earlier this season. 

Then there is Draymond Green. 

Just this season, Green was suspended 12 games on Dec. 12 for striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić. Not just suspensions but also ejections, as Green has been ejected four times this season, the most in his career. Most recently, Green was ejected in just four minutes against the Orlando Magic, with Steph Curry visibly annoyed at his teammate. 

However, despite all his off-court drama, Draymond has been playing well. He’s had his best scoring season since 17/18, averaging 8.9 Ppg and shooting 38.8% from three, his best since 15/16. 

He will undoubtedly stay in Golden State next season; the question is whether Green can be considered reliable in critical, heated moments.

Lastly, there is everybody else. 

Chris Paul will surely be let go in the off-season. His $30,000,000, non-guaranteed contract will not be picked up, as the Warriors will save that money for future additions to the team. 

Andrew Wiggins has had a poor year but has slowly picked it up in the regular season’s final weeks. However, he will be making around $26,000,000 next season, and for a team that will likely be on the hunt for another star this summer, trading Wiggins looks like a likely outcome. 

Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga won’t be free agents this summer but should be considered essential players with more significant roles next season. Both players, specifically Kuminga, have been seen as bright spots during this challenging season.

Kamil Krzazynski – USA Sports Today

Potential Targets This Summer:

The Golden State Warriors won’t have much to work with this offseason. 

The salary cap situation will make signing players in free agency this summer for the Warriors difficult. 

The Warriors’ NBA payroll is $209,343,129 for the 23/24 season, the biggest in the league. Thompson’s contract will end in the summer, so resigning him to a lesser deal should be the priority. 

Secondly, Wiggins will have to be dealt with. Trading him this offseason for a different player could be on the cards. His trade value wasn’t great earlier in the season because of his performances, but that gradually increased at the end of the season. 

Lastly, utilizing and valuing the young players for next season. 

Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski, and Trayce Jackson-Davis excelled this year due to their increased roles and playtime. In recent weeks, their impacts have allowed the Warriors to pick up some form and go on a winning run towards the end of the season. These players must continue their trajectory next season for the Warriors to have one final chance at a title run.

Extensive discussions need to be had in San Francisco. 

Here is a list of players that the Warriors may choose to target this offseason: 

[Free Agency] Paul George (SG/SF) (22.6 Ppg, 47.1% Fg, 41.3% 3pt%, 5.3 Reb, 3.6 Ast, 1.5 Stl)

Paul George should be Golden State’s number one target this summer. The Clippers shooting guard has a player option worth $48.8 million this summer, but if he chooses to decline, he’ll be free to speak with different teams. 

Paul George may not be the same player he was in Indiana or Oklahoma City, but he still gives you dynamism in scoring and elite defense. Should the Clippers falter in the postseason this year and drastic changes happen in Los Angeles, PG-13 may be eager to team up with Steph Curry. 

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

[Trade] Nikola Vučević (C) (17.8 Ppg, 48.0% Fg, 28.6% 3pt%, 10.6 Reb, 3.4 Ast)

Montenegrin is a no-brainer. The Chicago Bulls will likely decide to undergo a rebuild this summer and will want to ship off their most significant assets. 

The Warriors need a center who can be good on defense but allow something more productive on offense. As good as Kevon Looney and Draymond Green have been in the past at the five for Golden State, small-ball lineups are being rectified on the defensive end. Adding someone like Vučević, who can spread the floor and rebound, would make Golden State a dangerous team. 

Charles Rex Argogast/AP

[Free Agency] Jonas Valančiūnas (C) (12.3 Ppg, 56.0% Fg, 32.7% 3pt%, 9.0 Reb)

If the Warriors don’t have enough assets to trade for Vucević, getting Valančiūnas in free agency would be their best bet. The Warriors need to target a big this summer, and if missing out on Vucević occurs, the Lithuanian big man is their next best bet. 

Valančiūnas is a player with plenty of playoff experience and has played for contenders in the past, becoming one of the more underrated centers in the NBA in the last decade. His minutes have slowly gone down during his time in New Orleans, so he may be ready for a fresh challenge.


[Free Agency] Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG) (10.2 Ppg, 45.8% Fg, 41.1% 3pt%, 2.4 Reb)

Caldwell-Pope has become one of the most essential pieces for the Denver Nuggets. A brilliant off-ball defender who can shoot the ball from three, KCP should be considered critical for any team competing for a championship.

For any team trying to compete for a championship, this is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. He has been consistent, reliable, and healthy in Denver, only missing 15 games in two years. 

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

[Free Agency] Malik Monk (SG) (15.4Ppg, 44.3% Fg, 35.0% 3Pt%, 2.9 Reb, 5.1 Ast) 

Malik Monk is one of the most underrated scorers in the NBA. He can create a shot for himself, create in critical moments, and be the clutch when needed. The Warriors should add Monk to their starting SG position next season.

 He’s another player who can close out games and add a different dynamic with Steph Curry. He is the leading candidate to bring home the Sixth Man of the Year award and has proved why he has become so critical to the King’s recent success. 

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


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