Golden State Warriors barely missed top five in 2020-2021 power rankings

The Golden State Warriors had a mere 15 wins this past season, and despite being healthy, they still don’t crack ESPN’s way-too-early power rankings.

After five straight NBA Finals, the injury bug finally took out the Golden State Warriors for an entire season. That wasn’t the initial game plan even though the team knew they’d be without Klay Thompson till at least late in the spring.

The idea was that Stephen Curry and Draymond Green could get them to playoff contention while easing Thompson back into the rotation in late March and then into April.

When Curry went down in the fourth game of the season, that plan was immediately shredded and the tank was officially on. The Warriors now also have the No. 2 overall pick in the coming NBA Draft.

With the team healthy and the Warriors looking towards dominance again, some may say they’re the best team in the NBA. Well, not ESPN, who, in their way-too-early 2020-2021 power rankings had the Warriors at No. 6.

Here’s what ESPN’s Friedell said on the Warriors entering next season.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green want to prove this group’s run isn’t over yet. They’ll be motivated to show the rest of the league they can still play at the highest level. The reality, however, is that this is a completely different Warriors group than before. How will Andrew Wiggins fit in? How does the talent and leadership void left by Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston get filled? What will they do with the No. 2 overall pick? The Warriors still have top-level talent, but they need to fill a lot of gaps before title talk resumes. — Nick Friedell

While the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, and other contenders will have interesting offseasons, the Warriors will be just as telling. The other question mark is that no one truly knows how this team is going to function.

Will the chemistry be at the same level it was prior to all the injuries taking place and the team having one of the roughest seasons in franchise history? They won’t have the veteran leadership, but their team leaders will not be the veterans which should help transition to a new era in the Bay Area.

They also won’t have a third superstar unless they make some unpredictable offseason deal. That’s another thing to look out for. Will this team trade to sneak into the top-five teams to start next season. With the right player, they may be even a top-three team.

Next: Top 30 Golden State Warriors players in franchise history

It’s not disrespectful to leave them outside of the top ten, but it does showcase exactly where analysts believe they’re at, which is no longer head and shoulders above the rest.