It feels like years since the Golden State Warriors had a quality supporting cast. The days of having high-IQ, proven veterans occupy the bench are gone. Due to multiple misses in the draft and short-sighted moves by the front office, this Dubs’ bench is one of the worst in recent years.
We’ll give them a pass for last season. The roster was too decimated by injuries and key offseason losses for us to really place any blame on anyone. However, years of making subtle mistakes are now paying their toll as the Warriors’ second unit is absolutely abysmal. At least, by the standards of a team that should be competing for championships soon.
It’s time to face it, the Golden State Warriors do not have ‘strength in numbers’ anymore. This supporting cast needs to change.
Let’s take it all the way back to the 2015-16 season, where it became clear the Warriors were becoming an all-time great dynasty and the focus was shifted to winning as many titles as possible. This is when the Warriors’ front office went from being one of the best in the business when it comes to drafting NBA talent – to brutally missing on prospects each year.
Since 2016, the Warriors have either drafted or traded for the rights to these prospects: Jordan Bell, Patrick McCaw, Damian Jones, Jacob Evans, Alen Smailagic and Jordan Poole. Can you tell me how many of those players have become consistent rotational players in the NBA? Spoiler alert, only Poole has shown any promise to actually remain in the league for longer than the next three years.
We can’t put too much blame on the front office. After all, it’s not easy to hit on late-round draft picks. And, to be fair, Eric Paschall and Kevon Looney are solid selections. However, it’s painful to see guys like Bol Bol, Talen Horton-Tucker, Devonte Graham, Mitchell Robinson, Gary Trent, Jalen Brunson, Ivica Zubac, Malcolm Brogdon, Jake Layman, Cedi Osman, Montrezl Harrell and Josh Richardson all be missed by the Warriors in consecutive drafts dating back to 2015.
Again, we can’t fault the Dubs for missing on prospects that we’re hard to judge back then. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but we can’t deny that hitting on even one or two of those picks could have put a drastically different supporting cast around Stephen Curry and Draymond Green this season.
Offseason additions such as Brad Wanamaker, Mychal Mulder and Juan Tuscano-Anderson can all be viewed as more missed opportunities when considering free agents like Marc Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins, Jeff Green, Reggie Jackson, Josh Jackson, Nicolas Batum, Avery Bradley and others all signed manageable contracts with their respective teams.
I still believe the Warriors’ front office has some of the best minds in basketball. And, their track record deserves some benefit of the doubt. Yet, it’s time to acknowledge that this current supporting cast is lacking heavily and it will take a seismic overhaul to get this team back in contention for a title.
The Warriors need an influx of veteran talent back on the bench before they can compete again. The inexperience of many of these players has limited the team so far this season – and with very few of them showing promise to develop into quality contributors, they serve no purpose remaining on the team.
At the very least, they need to make the most of their upcoming draft picks. Even if the Warriors can’t manage to bring in proven veterans, it’s vital they add young prospects who can coexist with James Wiseman and Paschall to help build the team of the future.