The Golden State Warriors were ranked fifth in ESPN’s annual “Future Power Rankings” on May 31.
Was that a surprise? No. Golden State’s core, consisting of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, is young, and for the most part, none of them have hit their prime. Of the three, Curry is the closest, but 2012-13 was Barnes’ rookie season and Thompson’s sophomore season. They’ve got time to improve, but in contrast, they’ve both made good initial impressions.
Now, here’s an interesting question: which of the three is the most important to Golden State’s long-term success? This isn’t a trick question and if you paid attention to the Warriors’ playoff run even remotely, you probably have the correct answer in mind.
But let’s dissect the situation: