Golden State Warriors 2019-20 Season Outlook & Roster
The word dynasty might be the best way to describe the past five Golden State Warriors seasons. They’ve been to the NBA Finals in five straight years, winning three championships and causing Warriors ticket prices to skyrocket due to the high demand. But is it possible that things will be different for the 2019-20 Golden State Warriors season? Can they keep up the momentum despite losing in last year’s Finals? Let’s take a look at the team’s new roster and the outlook for the Golden State Warriors season in 2019-20.
As most Warriors fans know, there will be two huge pieces of the Golden State puzzle missing this season. The first is Kevin Durant, who left in free agency and signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant spent the last three seasons with the Warriors, helping them win back-to-back NBA championships in the first two seasons. He looked poised to help Golden State win another title in 2019 but suffered an injury during the Western Conference Semifinals. The Warriors reached the NBA Finals without him and got Durant back in Game 5 of the finals. However, soon after his return, Durant hurt his Achilles tendon, ruling him out for the rest of the series, which the Warriors lost without him.
It was a similar situation with Klay Thompson, who scored 30 points in Game 6 of the NBA Finals with the Warriors facing elimination. However, Thompson tore his ACL in the third quarter, and without him or Durant available, Golden State lost the game by four points, ending their season. Thompson is now unlikely to be available during the 2019-20 Golden State Warriors season while he rehabs the injury. There’s a chance he’ll be healthy enough to play in the playoffs, but nothing is certain and playing the season without Thompson will be a huge blow to the Warriors.
Keep in mind that Golden State’s roster turnover isn’t limited to Durant and Thompson. Veteran center DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Lakers after one season with Golden State. The Warriors also traded away swingman Andre Iguodala during the offseason. Iguodala was a huge part of Golden State’s defense during their three championship seasons. Role players like Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook, and Jonas Jerebko also parted ways with the Warriors during the offseason, so the team’s bench is likely to look much different this season.
Who’s Still Around
The good news for Golden State is that their most important player, Stephen Curry, is still around and perfectly healthy ahead of the 2019-20 Golden State Warriors season. Curry has been an all-star in six straight seasons and won MVP honors twice during that span while helping the Warriors to three NBA titles. However, there will be a huge burden on his shoulders with Durant leaving and Thompson injured. It’ll likely mean more shots and higher point totals for Curry, which could help him win another MVP. But it’ll also mean opposing teams can focus more on stopping him knowing that Durant and Thompson aren’t around.
Hoping to ease some of the burden on Curry will be longtime Warriors forward Draymond Green. The caveat, of course, is that Green makes an impact on the defensive end of the court and won’t necessarily take much pressure off Curry offensively. That being said, Green is still the heart and the soul of the Warriors, making him an invaluable part of the Golden State roster with Durant gone and Thompson unable to contribute.
The biggest addition to the Warriors this offseason was D’Angelo Russell, who joins Golden State from the Nets after being part of the sign-and-trade agreement involving Durant. Russell has had an up and down career since the Lakers took him second overall in the 2015 draft. He’s struggled when teams have asked too much of him but excelled when he’s had more of a supporting role. That will likely be the case in San Francisco, as Curry will be the focal point and Russell the second option, which bodes well for the Warriors. Also, Russell is coming off the best season of his career and his first career all-star appearance. If he can keep trending upward, it’ll make a huge impact for the Warriors with Thompson unavailable.
Another overlooked addition to the Warriors this summer was center Willie Cauley-Stein. The 7-foot center is entering his fifth season in the league, spending the last four as a solid role player with the Sacramento Kings. Cauley-Stein has never quite lived up to being the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he’s young enough to change that. He has loads of the potential on the defensive end and could form a solid post tandem with Green on that end of the floor, helping to make up for Cousins' departure. The Warriors are also intrigued by the way he plays the pick and roll, which should make him a good fit for Golden State with Russell handling the point guard duties this season. Only time will tell!