The Golden State Warriors have acknowledged their lack of size and opted not to bring any help with the deadline looming large. Kevon Looney is the team’s starting center, and he stands just 6-foot-9. James Wiseman has yet to play this season.
While there’s still time to get a deal done, it seems they’re set with the roster they have. Without making a trade, they’re going to have to be okay with being dominated in the paint by players like Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside.
The Golden State Warriors aren’t going to add size prior to the 2022 trade deadline, but last night showed why it might have been necessary.
Gobert missed the Jazz’s game last night, but his backup feasted on the Warriors. It was a key reason the Warriors were destroyed in the second half. Whiteside finished with 5 offensive rebounds, 2 more than the Warriors team as a whole.
The Warriors had a -8 offensive rebounding disadvantage on Wednesday.
Those extra opportunities are going to be brutal in the postseason if their struggles were to continue. Teams like Phoenix and Utah will have major size advantages. The Jazz turned those extra opportunities into 11 more shot attempts.
Now, obviously, the team was riding a 9-game win streak, so this hasn’t been a debilitating issue. And, at the same time, the Warriors have Draymond Green and James Wiseman, potentially 2 of their last 3 best rebounders.
Klay Thompson also gives better size on the wing than Jordan Poole, so just his return to action should help as well. However, it was clear as day that the team was outmanned down low, and there’s no telling if that’s a problem they can fix internally.
Green’s presence should bolster their rebounding, but regardless, he’s still outsized in the paint. While Wiseman has reportedly bulked up and could be nearing a return, the level of play he can get to and if he can contribute on a championship-caliber team is still in question.
The Warriors rank 7th in defensive rebounding rate on the season, so hopefully, the difference is just getting Green back on the court. On paper, it looks uglier than that for a team looking for a chance to get back to the NBA Finals this season.