Acquiring a versatile wing defender in the offseason will be a top priority for the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for another title run.
The list of x-factors heading into the 2020-21 NBA season for the Golden State Warriors is endless. While pretty much every team is facing some form of adversity due to the league’s current climate, the Warriors have more on their plate than any other franchise.
Golden State is looking to achieve something no other team in NBA history has done. They experienced the biggest single-season fall off and will be looking to completely reverse that in less than a year’s time.
Winning games will be easier next season, assuming Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both make successful returns to the court. Bringing the Splash Bros back to action will be exciting and it’s made even better with Draymond Green and a new young core featuring Andrew Wiggins and Eric Paschall.
But, this team is missing something. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala have left a void in the Dubs’ lineup. Without a versatile wing defender to replace what those forwards brought to the Warriors’ defense, the team won’t be able to recover.
Iggy’s importance to the Dubs’ defensive prowess can’t be understated. His gritty performances against LeBron James in the 2015 NBA Finals helped him secure the Finals MVP Award. Meanwhile, Durant was much more than just an all-time great scorer, he actually converted into an elite defender in Golden State. During his three seasons in the Bay, Durant averaged 1.5 blocks per game.
The Warriors will be able to recover from losing a four-time scoring champion as they have Curry and Thompson to make up for their losses on offense. However, they don’t have the weapons needed to remain a strong defensive team.
Opening enough cap space to acquire a quality player will be tough. The Dubs’ trade exception is worth around $17 million while their mid-level exception will free up $6 million in cap space. This gives them a chance to target multiple wing-defenders such as Robert Covington, Trevor Ariza, Al-Farouq Aminu and Rondae-Hollis Jefferson.
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Landing one of these players could be huge in determining how successful the Warriors are next season. It is pivotal that they add some depth to their bench and a strong defender is their biggest need.