In 2020-2021, the Golden State Warriors will take a blast to the past as their team will heavily resemble the record-setting 2015-2016 one.
The Golden State Warriors made the NBA trade deadline’s blockbuster transaction, sending away D’Angelo Russell and brining in Andrew Wiggins to go along with a 2021 top-three protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
The fit with Russell on the Warriors was one most were skeptical of. However, after initial rumors were shut down during the offseason, many assumed the Warriors would wait till the offseason to trade Russell.
Given the projected return of Stephen Curry in early March, it was reasonable to believe Golden State would hang on to evaluate the fit with the team at full strength. Well, sadly, Russell’s time in the Bay didn’t stretch that far.
With Wiggins under contract for the foreseeable future, it’ll be the five-man lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney hopefully taking the court at the commencement of next season.
That lineup feels eerily similar to the one which took the Warriors to 73 wins back during the 2015-2016 season. That lineup included Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut for the bulk of the season.
The Warriors won’t have the same success as that team, but they will have a roster that finally allows Stephen Curry to be the primary scorer again. With D’Angelo Russell, some of the spotlight wouldn’t be on Curry, and the defense wouldn’t have to scared of his heavy involvement.
There’s no denying the Western Conference will be tougher next season than it was half a decade ago. But, to be fair, this Warriors team will be experienced and likely will be playing the long battle with the NBA Finals in mind.
This team has what it takes to be that good. The only question is whether or not they’ll reach their full potential.