With the offseason having well and truly arrived, now is a good time to dissect the roster maneuvers of the Golden State Warriors’ closest rivals in their division. Given all five teams made the 2023 postseason and will undoubtedly lay claims to such a place again, the pacific is set to be the most hotly-contested division in the NBA next season.
In the Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, you have four experienced teams each holding championship aspirations. Yet the quartet were shockingly usurped by the Sacramento Kings last regular season, with Mike Brown’s men topping the division before going down to Golden State in a hard-fought seven-game first-round series.
Much like the Golden State Warriors’ themselves, their pacific rivals are talent-laden teams yet are far from a finished product.
Golden State’s division rivals have had varying levels of success so far this offseason, with most cash-stricken and limited to lower-level free agents as a result. With ranking the five teams an arduous task right now, let’s look at the biggest roster need for the Kings, Clippers, Lakers and Suns as each team tries to gain an edge in what forecasts as an incredibly competitive division.
Sacramento Kings – Quality forward depth
The Kings’ offseason has been predicated on maintaining their current core, most notably bringing back Harrison Barnes and reconstructing Domantas Sabonis to a new five-year, $217 million contact.
After an intriguing draft night trade that saw them clear Richaun Holmes’ money with the use of a first-round pick, there was speculation Sacramento was going big-name hunting with Draymond Green a potential option.
With that having failed to materialize, the Kings still lack some quality at the forward spots behind their starters in Barnes and Keegan Murray. They have added Chris Duarte from the Indiana Pacers and EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov, but both are still largely unproven at the NBA level.
Trey Lyles was an excellent contributor with his perimeter threat last season, but beyond that it’s pretty slim pickings. Although the boat has now passed for a quality free agent forward addition, perhaps the Kings could be an interested party in the trade market if players like Toronto pair Pascal Siakam and/or OG Anunoby were to become available.