Cody Harner continues his series of offseason analyses of each NBA franchise. Up next, the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors again struggled last season as they attempt to rebuild and rise back into NBA relevance. Upon going an abysmal 23-43, the Warriors hope that their new young talent and free-agent signings will help them climb back to a .500 or better season.
The Golden State Warriors were one team who was fortunate to have two first-round picks. With the 7th-overall pick, the Warriors selected small forward Harrison Barnes out of North Carolina. This was a great pick for the Warriors and I was surprised that Barnes slipped to them. Cleveland was expected to select Barnes but elected to go with Dion Waiters, and the Warriors could not have been happier. Barnes has a deadly combination of size and shooting ability.
At six feet eight inches, Barnes has the length to shoot over any defender, and coincidentally, this is what he does best. Barnes is a scorer and this will take some pressure off of Stephen Curry whether or not he starts. The Warriors also added some depth down low as they selected Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick. Ezeli is a seven-foot center with size who is a solid defender. He will provide a quality replacement when Andrew Bogut needs a rest.
Golden State also added a solid player in the second round as they selected Draymond Green, a forward out of Michigan State. Not only does Green provide a physical forward who can come off the bench, but his character as a leader and proven winner is an asset to any team. Green’s intangibles were a major reason the Warriors went after him, as they have openly stated.
The Warriors had one of the best drafts in the NBA, but they also put together some key additions via free agency. Golden State was able to put together a three-team trade which sent Dorrell Wright to Philadelphia and Jarrett Jack to the Warriors. This will provide a solid veteran backup to Stephen Curry and it has been said that the two may play together on the court at some times. The Warriors also added another New Orleans player via free agency in Carl Landry. Like Jack, Landry has proven to be a reliable player at a forward position. By signing Landry, the Warriors have alleviated any pressure Harrison Barnes may have felt to make an immediate impact. The Warriors now have somewhat of a security blanket as they ease Barnes into their system.
The Warriors have put themselves in an excellent position this offseason. They drafted an excellent group of rookies while also adding talent via free agency and trades to ensure that the rookies are not pressured. A good balance of talented rookies and proven veterans has set the Warriors up to contend for a playoff spot this year. Let’s not forget that center Andrew Bogut also will make his debut this year coming off of his season-ending ankle injury. All things considered, I award the Golden State Warriors an offseason grade of: