Warriors starting small forward: Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson has always been considered a shooting guard in one of the best backcourts in NBA history, but at this point in his career, he’s not much of a guard. After two major leg injuries, he is not the quick defender that he used to be, and the Warriors will have him guard almost exclusively forwards — sometimes even bigs. In the starting lineup that the Dubs are likely to use on Opening Night, Klay is the power forward, and in our projected full-strength group, he’s the 3.
Golden State has to hope that Thompson finds a way to settle into his niche as a role player on this team. His shooting is vitally important, but if they’re going to win another title they can’t have Klay trying to shoot himself back into a game. If Thompson can make that transition he’ll be a key player in bringing this team more postseason success; if he doesn’t, either the Warriors lose early or he finds himself on the outside of the closing lineup.
Warriors backup small forward: Moses Moody
In what is becoming an annual tradition in San Francisco, Moses Moody looks like a candidate to see his minutes squeezed to start the season. Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Gary Payton II and Jonathan Kuminga are likely all ahead of him in the pecking order; once Draymond Green returns and takes back up his minutes at power forward, the rotation gets even more crowded.
Moody will need to lean into everything that Kerr and the coaching staff are asking of him, because he does seem like the kind of two-way wing they want in the rotation when the playoffs roll around. He is a knockdown shooter and a smart player, but he needs to limit his fouling and eliminate any reason to yank him from the rotation.
Other options: Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins