Sitting with the second-best record in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors are rightly concentrating on winning a championship this season. But in the background, general manager Bob Myers would undoubtedly be plotting the future complexion of this talent-filled roster.
What we do know is this; The Warriors are undertaking an audacious bid to not only win a title in the now but also set themselves up for long-term, sustainable success. That sounds great in theory, but in reality, there’s a series of questions and challenges Myers and the front office will have to navigate.
The future is never certain, what should the Golden State Warriors be planning for in the long-term with this current core?
What’s the long-term, five to six-year plan for the Warriors? Or given the fast-paced nature of player movement, is it worthless to put considerable time into such extended thinking?
To be fair, Myers has thus far passed his first challenge. People questioned his ability to build a championship roster while retaining the young quartet of Poole, Wiseman, Kuminga and Moody. Evidence to date would suggest they’ve not only built a title-contending roster, but also provided development opportunities for the young players (outside the injured Wiseman).
Debate will certainly arise on the future of the roster should the Warriors fail to win the championship. Anything less and revisionist history may suggest the young talent should have been moved for more experienced star power.
But an obvious decisive moment will likely take place next off-season. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole will be up for contract extensions, with the latter to come off a cheap rookie deal to potentially command $20 million plus per season.
Will the Warriors dig deeper into the luxury tax to pay that for a sixth man, assuming Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson remain healthy and near their best? Would Poole have the patience to remain in that role beyond next season?
What would the Warriors do with the first time all-star in Wiggins? If they were to re-sign him, is there a chance that during the course of that contract, the growth and development of Kuminga or Moody forces Kerr to move Wiggins to the bench?
That’s ultimately the crux of this entire situation. The four young players all contain the potential to be incredibly high-level NBA players worthy of starting roles. The older core has spoken repeatedly on the future, with Klay Thompson having this to say after Kuminga’s first career double-double last month.
"“I’m so excited for JK’s future. He has an incredibly high ceiling and one day down the line, it will be his team or he’ll be a huge part of the team. I see him being one of the better players in the league one day”."
But if they’re the future, how does the transition take place? Does there become a time where the all-time legends in Curry, Thompson and Green are experienced veterans coming off the bench, much like Andre Iguodala?
Ultimately, Myers has bigger fish to fry than being consumed by such long-term questions. He and the franchise will also trust that the winning culture they’re building will entice current players, both young and old, to want to be part of the team for years to come.
At the very least it bodes well for Warrior fans, the sheer talent on the roster making them an exciting proposition in the present as well as the future.