The Golden State Warriors’ quickest path back to a championship

Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors’ quickest path back to a championship

Last season was a wash for the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Durant left the bay and moved to Brooklyn to team up with Kyrie Irving. Klay Thompson spent the year rehabbing from an ACL tear that he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Four games into the following season, the other splash brother, Steph Curry, broke a bone in his non-shooting hand sidelining him for the year also.

So what are the current expectations for the three-time champs heading into 2021? It’s a new day in the NBA, and the West is more loaded than ever.

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The last time Steph, Klay, and Draymond Green played meaningful basketball together they lost the championship to Kawhi Leonard (and the Toronto Raptors) in the NBA Finals, who now resides in LA. Also making LA home now is their four-time finals foe LeBron James, so more prudently it’s a new day in California.

Bringing the pre-KD band back together (minus Andre Iguodala) is not going to be enough. There is a feasible path for the Warriors to reclaim the mantle this upcoming season and it starts with Bradley Beal.

The Washington Wizards have to be seriously considering a rebuild and Beal is by far their most lucrative trade piece. The Warriors can offer up the seemingly forever young Andrew Wiggins (age 25) along with this year’s No. 2 overall draft pick.

They also have a pair of picks in the 2021 draft that they gained from the aforementioned Wiggins deal that they can leverage. The ask for Bradley may be steep because there is a significant list of NBA teams that are interested in his services.

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney could make a compelling attempt at a title run, but one more component would put them in the driver’s seat. This other piece Bob Myers will need to acquire is Andre Drummond.

Drummond is expected to enact his $28.8 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the chances of the two sides reaching a long-term agreement are rumored to be slim. Unfortunately for Andre, the game has changed and his skill set has become completely devalued and the Warriors can capitalize on that.

There is a chance the Cavs and Drummond could reach a mid-season buyout, allowing Golden State to swoop in a grab up the big man at a thrifty price tag. This would be the ideal situation for the Dubs.

(Buyouts are common when a player with such a high cap number is set to be a free agent because trade partners aren’t willing to give up much for someone who could easily decide not to stay with the new team moving forward. Drummond would get most of his $28.8 million and a chance to compete for a title and Cleveland would get to save a little bit of money and move on from a player who more than likely has already checked out giving the circumstances, allowing Cleveland to expedite their rebuilding plans.)

If Drummond’s acquisition requires a trade, it would make things a bit more complicated, but still doable. Hopefully, Myers is able to pull off the Beal deal without depleting all of his draft assets in case extra bargaining chips are needed for nabbing Drummond.

Golden State will need a big durable body to bang with the likes of Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert, and Nikola Jokic, one who can also get buckets. Last season, Drummond averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds during his time spent with Detroit and Cleveland.

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There’s no reason to believe that the team that is “light years ahead” doesn’t already have the framework of these two deals hashed out and in the processes of making them happen. If they do pull off both it fast tracks them back atop the favorites to capture the NBA championship.