Believe it or not, the NBA's regular season is six weeks away. To get you ready, Crossover Chronicles will be profiling a team each day for the next six weeks. This week is the Pacific Division. Today is the Golden State Warriors.
2011-12 Record: 23-43
Key Losses: Nate Robinson (signed with Chicago), Dorrell Wright (traded to Philadelphia), Dominic McGuire (signed with Toronto)
Key Acquisitions: Harrison Barnes (Draft), Jarret Jack (trade from New Orleans), Carl Landry (signed from New Orleans)
|Stephen Curry||Klay Thompson||Richard Jefferson||David Lee||Andrew Bogut|
|Jarrett Jack||Brandon Rush||Harrison Barnes||Jeremy Tyler||Andris Biedrins|
|Charles Jenkins||Draymond Green||Carl Landry||Festus Ezeli|
Continuity can be a very good thing in the NBA, particularly for a young team. The Warriors should have had some time to grow and play together last year and that could mean good things for this upcoming season.
Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut are capable of playing at All Star levels when they are healthy and there are a lot of nice role players on this team.
This is still a team building largely for the future, however. So there will be bumps in the road. Victories may not be measured in wins and losses.
What Golden State wants to see is continued improvement from Klay Thompson. A healthy season from Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut. And then the emergence of Harrison Barnes along with one of the team's two second round picks, Draymond Green or Festus Ezeli.
There is the makings of a decent team in Golden State. That team might be two or three years down the road and still missing critical pieces, but it is not this year's team. The Warriors have a decent future ahead of them. For this year, accomplishing team chemistry goals and continuing to improve under Mark Jackson would be a big help.
Golden State is putting a lot of its future on guys that do not have great history with injuries. Andrew Bogut, acquired from Milwaukee in last year's Monta Ellis trade, played only 12 games last year. Bogut posted only 11.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game as he got his feet wet before injuries claimed the rest of his season. He has not played 70 games in a season since 2008 and nobody is quite sure what he can do after his horrific elbow injury in 2010.
The former top overall pick has had some awful luck. Health questons will dog him until he makes it through a season with few problems.
Stephen Curry has had his issues too.
Curry missed all but 26 games last year and received the go-ahead from doctors to play pick-up basketball just last week. There is no telling what kind of shape he is in or how long it will take him to get back into game shape and to the point he was contributing at when he was healthy.
The real question for Curry is whether Golden State's investment in him will be worth it. The Warriors traded Monta Ellis to free up more space for Curry. Curry has to make good on that promise or else Golden State traded away a very productive and very popular player for little in return. Not helping is that the same issue may come up when Golden State has to decided between Curry and Klay Thompson.
That is where things get very very ugly for the Warriors.
If the roster stays at it is, Golden State could be a decent, but middling team. But roster rarely stay consistent on a year-to-year basis.
Curry will be a restricted free agent next year and Golden State will have to make a decision on how much to invest in the young combo guard. The Warriors future could very much be locked up in the next few years. And nobody is quite suer what Curry can do yet. Bogut has two years left on his deal, and so the same evaluations will go into deciding whether to bring him back or not.
The Warriors still lack a marquee player that will not only draw fans in but make them competitive. Golden State seems destined to be a middling or bottom team in the Western Conference unless some players really deliver on their potential.
Have thoughts or predictions on the Warriors? Leave them in the comments below or drop us a line @CrossoverNBA on Twitter or join the discussion by hashtagging #WarriorsDay. We will be back with a closer look at the Warriors throughout the day.