Golden State Warriors 2017 Season Preview: a Swaggy P, China Klay, Cupcake recipe to repeat
With the start of the 2017–18 NBA regular season a few weeks away, let’s take a look at the season preview for the defending champion Golden State Warrrrrriorrrs.
In this season preview we cover:
- Warriors Offseason Acquistions
- The great All Star migration West
- Our Predictions
There are many that believe that, barring injury, this will be the Warriors’ best overall season. Las Vegas currently has the over/under win total for them this season at 67.5, according to VegasInsider. The Dubs have been historically great the past three seasons, having reached at least 67 wins each season. So why do some think they can top that?
- A re-loaded bench. Strong additions of Nick Young, Omri Casspi, and second-round pick Jordan Bell should only help continue their dominance.
- KD35. It’s full year integrating NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant into the Warriors’ system. Can they gel even, better?
Offseason Acquisitions: the rich get richer
1. Nick Young
6'7" G/F | Signed as a FA from the Lakers
The Warriors inked the artist formerly known as Swaggy P to the $5.2 million mid-level exception, and he’s going to contribute much more than “swag” to this already loaded roster.
Young shot 40% from three last season, with that rate rising to 44% on catch-and-shoot threes. Something he should see plenty of this season.
Prediction: 8.6 ppg, 1.2 ast, 42% 3pt FG
2. Omri Casspi
6'9", Forward | Signed as a FA from the Kings
Warriors fans might best know Omri from one of the best shootouts I’ve seen. This Steph vs Omri classic. Scoring 29 points in 3 minutes.
To get fans more excited about this pick up, ESPN reported that Casspi turned down a one-year, $4.5 million offer from a “lottery team” to join for the vet min.
Although I don’t see him getting significant minutes, he could definitely be a factor for a game or two in the playoffs. It’s a solid addition to the bench at a discounted price.
Prediction: 3.4 ppg, 0.6 ast., 40% 3pt FG
3. Jordan Bell
6′ 8″ F/C |Drafted 38th from The University of Oregon
“We had him [ranked] in the first round...”
— Bob Meyers, Warriors GM
The Warriors are hyped on Bell and you will be, too.
He seems like a steal.
On draft day the Warriors traded $3.5 million in cash for the Chicago Bulls’ 38th overall pick. Sorry, Bulls fans.
By every indication, this was well worth the investment. He’s perfect for today’s league — a mobile big that you can trust to switch and handle a high pick and roll.
At 6’8, Bell is a little undersized at his position. But, like Draymond Green, he makes up for it with his energy and high basketball IQ.
The Warriors are a perfect landing spot for him due to his limited scoring abilities today. As an Oregon Duck, he averaged 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks. He will make an impact on the defensive end.
Prediction: 2.2 ppg, 3.3 reb, .2 ast, .4 stl, .8 blk
Core stays intact
Golden State returns 12 of 15 players from last years’ roster. Scary.
- Ian Clark. $1.6/1 with the Pelicans
- James Michael McAdoo. two-way contract with the 76ers
- Matt Barnes. Likely watching a sunset with his ring in retirement and forgetting about Derek Fisher — like the rest of the NBA.
Durant | $53 million/2 years. KD selflessly signed for less than the max. Accepting a $53 million, 2 year deal this offseason as opposed to the $35.4 per season he was eligible to get. This freed up the Warriors to keep their core bench still intact; a super critical component to these three playoff runs.
Curry | $201/5. Chef Curry and Ayesha may be using more lavish ingredients in their meals as he agreed to what was, at the time, the richest deal in NBA history [taken over by James Harden]. Steph is locked in for a 5-year, $201 million deal.
Iggy |$48/3. One of the biggest beneficiaries from the KD deal was Andre Iguodala, who was rumored to be seriously considering playing elsewhere if the money was right.
Instead, the “Hamptons Five” is back and better than ever, with Andre signing on for a 3-year, $48 million deal. The former Finals MVP is key to the Warriors versatility that gives their opponent’s matchup problems every night.
Livingston | $24/3. The other big time contributor the Warriors were worried about leaving was Shaun Livingston. Ultimately he decided to stay in the Bay Area as well, where he’s resurrected his career so nicely; who can’t love this guy. The former 4th overall pick signed a 3-year, $24 million deal. A long way from his d-league contract in 2009.
The final year of the contract is $2 million guaranteed, giving the Warriors flexibility when Klay Thompson’s contract is set to expire.
West | Min/1.
“You can’t take it with you. The Egyptians learned that. You can’t bury it and take the treasures with you. So it’s about the small things in life. The accomplishments, man. It’s about winning.”
After turning down millions of dollars, West finally got his ring.
There were talks of him retiring, but he has announced that this upcoming season will be his last. Although his skills and athleticism are diminishing, he’s definitely a factor in the locker room and growing prospects like Bell.
Pachulia | $3.5/1. Even Zaza turned down more money to stay with the Dubs, signing a 1-year, $3.5 million deal. With such a limited number of serviceable big men in today’s NBA, it’s a good decision to re-sign him, especially at the price. He knows his role and let’s just leave it at that.
Losing Jerry West
It isn’t all sunshine, or fog if you’re in to that, for the team by the Bay.
After six insanely successful years — for a trip down memory lane, here’s what their 2010–11 roster was — as a special consultant and executive board member for the Warriors, Jerry West elected to take a similar position with the LA Clippers. His contributions within the organization cannot be overstated, as he played a key role in shaping the winning, free-agent attracting culture it quickly became.
Not only did West help form the current roster, he was also responsible for keeping them together.
He was one of the few within the organization adamant they shouldn’t trade, at the time, an unproven Klay Thompson for Kevin Love. Even threatening to resign if they went through with it.
The Logo also played a role in luring Kevin Durant, giving him a call after their meeting in the Hamptons to offer his perspective on how he sees Durant’s career unfolding. He talked from his own experience, as someone who repeatedly fell short of winning a championship as a player.
Even though there’s not many more major moves the Warriors could or should make in the coming years, West’s evaluation of talent and decision-making is irreplaceable. Now, if he can fix the Clippers… wow.
All [stars] go west
Golden State changed the landscape of the NBA. With a few exceptions, teams are either bolstering their roster to catch up to them or in the middle of a complete rebuild, hoping they can peak as the Warriors arguably already dynasty declines.
Here’s a list of the main transactions from teams trying to make a run at the Warriors:
Nuggets. In: Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles. Out: Danilo Gallinari.
Rockets. In: Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, Tarik Black. Out: Patrick Beverly.
Spurs. In: Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne. Out: Jonathan Simmons, Dewayne Dedmon.
Thunder. In: Paul George, Hoodie Melo, Patrick Patterson, Raymond Felton. Out: Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Taj Gibson.
Timberwolves. In: Jimmy Bulter, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford. Out: Pretty Ricky Rubio.
Going off of ESPN’s NBArank, 9 of the top 10 and 20 of the top 30 players in the NBA are now in the Western Conference — that. is. absurd.
Although the Warriors are still heavy favorites to reach the Finals for the 4th straight year, their path should be more difficult in a more star-studded West.
Warriors 2017 Season Predictions
Although it most likely won’t be as easy, the Warriors are the clear favorite to win the title once again. GM Bob Myers did an excellent job this offseason by adding to an already lethal roster.
UNLV’s Patrick McCaw is already starting to look like another excellent second-round pick made by the Warriors. Unsurprisingly, the Dubs also bought that pick, paying the Bucks $2.4 million in exchange for the 38th overall selection in the 2016 draft.
In just his rookie year, McCaw averaged 4.0 pts, 1.4 reb, and 1.1 ast in 15.1 minutes per game. He shot 43% from the field, 33% from three, and 78% from the free-throw line.
It’s evident the Warriors already have complete trust in him, with Kerr electing to play him in 12 pivotal minutes during game 5 of the Finals and Walton starting him in 3 games throughout the postseason.
Especially as the Warriors’ role players age and his role expands, it’s only a matter of time before he makes a significant jump. At 6’7 with a knack for the ball, McCaw has major potential on the defensive end too, providing he bulks up.
Bring it home to Oakland
To recap, only Clark, McAdoo, and Barnes left. Durant’s contract helped retain key role players in Igoudala, Livingston and to a lesser extent, Pachulia and West. They added even more scoring in Swaggy P and Casspi, and Jordan Bell seems to be a perfect fit.
This is all not to mention, their 4 star players in Durant, Curry, Green and Thompson are all in the midst of their prime at ages 28, 29, 27, and 27. Crazy.
We are witnessing history in the making. All this adds up to our prediction being…
A 66–16 season record; a Durant MVP; and another NBA Championship. Their 3rd in 4 years.
After which, we all get a whole offseason of debates over how they compare to the ’96 Bulls. Even though it’s a different era, it’s then a legitimate conversation to be had. This season could put the Warriors over the top.
Look for the Dubs to defend their title and add a few more accolades to KD’s shoes.
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