Last season, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship due to an elite mix of superstars and quality depth. However, so far this offseason, they’ve lost some crucial depth pieces that helped make their postseason run so special. Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, and Nemanja Bjelica all left Golden State.
That being said, the Warriors acted quickly, replacing the players that they lost with new faces. Golden State signed veteran forward JaMychal Green to a deal to replace both Porter and Bjelica, and as far as Payton’s replacement, they made a fairly big splash.
Golden State scooped up 25-year-old guard Donte DiVincenzo, inking one of the most intriguing guards of this years free-agency class. In fact, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, DiVincenzo signing with the defending champions is the “most underrated” move of the offseason.
“Twenty-nine other NBA teams should hate this signing. Donte DiVincenzo finding his way to the defending champs is a perfect fit between player and franchise.
“The Sacramento Kings opted against giving DiVincenzo a $6.6 million qualifying offer. The Golden State Warriors then swooped in and snagged the 25-year-old on a two-year, $9.2 million contract using part of their taxpayer mid-level exception,” Swartz wrote for Bleacher Report on August 23.
As the Warriors look to contend for another title in the upcoming season, DiVincenzo has a chance to play a very important role.
DiVincenzo’s Role With Warriors
Before joining the Sacramento Kings at last year’s trade deadline, DiVincenzo was an important part of the Milwaukee Bucks rotation. And although an injury derailed his career a bit, the Warriors should provide him with the perfect environment to get things back on track.
“DiVincenzo should thrive as a floor-spacer alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, feeding off wide-open looks with defenses focusing on so many other weapons,” Swartz noted. “He’s also a willing passer and pesky defender who should parlay his time in Golden State into a bigger payday next summer, much like we saw from Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. this offseason.”
With how many weapons the Warriors already employ on the roster, DiVincenzo will find himself in a place with plenty of opportunities and very little pressure. The Warriors will need him to produce, but he should have plenty of breathing room, too.
And although he’s not the same player as Payton, he should prove to be a more-than-viable replacement.
How DiVincenzo Replaces Payton
Payton gave the Warriors a great mix of scrappy defense and elite cutting. DiVincenzo may not be quite as good in either of those areas, but he’s more than passable, and his offensive game is much better equipped to help Golden State.
“After losing Payton to the Portland Trail Blazers in free agency, the Warriors added an even more talented offensive threat to their backcourt. The reigning champs should be right back in the title mix this season,” Swartz stated.
So, as Warriors fans get ready to watch their favorite team compete at the highest level once again next year, keep a close yee on DiVincenzo as a player who could help the Warriors more than a lot of people realize.