Warriors starting shooting guard: Andrew Wiggins
While Stephen Curry has improved as a defender over the course of his career, it’s best for the Warriors if they can slide him to the least-threatening perimeter player on the other team. That elevates the importance of Andrew Wiggins, the best perimeter defender in the starting group and someone capable of defending point guards as well as forwards.
After Wiggins was limited to just 37 games last season, the Warriors will hope a full season of play from the two-way player will help prop up their win total and give them a better shot at homecourt advantage in the playoffs. He has shot over 38 percent from 3-point range in each of the past three seasons and serves a vital role on both ends of the court for this group.
Warriors backup shooting guard: Gary Payton II
While Andrew Wiggins is a solid backcourt defender, and Chris Paul and Stephen Curry are adequate options, the best such defender on the roster in Gary Payton II. The Warriors lost something when they let Payton walk in free agency, prompting them to flip James Wiseman for him at the deadline last season.
His offense and specifically his outside shot wax and wane, but Payton is a smart player who knows what is expected of him. On defense, he can come into a game and absolutely hound opponents, generating steals that turn into immediate points on the other end. He’s a favorite of Steve Kerr’s and is a lock for the early-season rotation.
Look for Curry to play significant minutes at shooting guard as well when he and Chris Paul share the court.
Other options: Moses Moody, Stephen Curry, Lester Quinones