The 2019-2020 NBA season was one for the history books. After a near mid-season stoppage due to COVID-19 and the Bubble in Orlando, which eventually saw the Los Angeles Lakers being crowned as NBA champions, the league is looking to get back on track starting Dec. 22nd.
One team that was impacted most by injuries and the need to play a lot of young players were the Golden State Warriors. Given Klay Thompson’s knee injury during the 2019 NBA Finals, he was expected to miss all of the 2019-2020 season. What most had hoped for with this reality is an MVP season of epic proportions from guard Steph Curry due to how much of the offense he would have to carry for the team. However, that was also unable to happen with Curry breaking a bone in his hand only a few games into the season and playing in one more game throughout the remainder of it.
Yet the team and its fan base are hoping that with both stars back and fully healthy and the addition of Andrew Wiggins, and their #2 overall selection in the 2020 NBA draft, the team will be able to not just be good once more but return to their dominance and reach another NBA Finals with the chance to win their 4th title in the past 6 years.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes they can do just that stating they are the team the Lakers should fear most heading into the upcoming season.
“For a simple reason, it doesn’t need to be complicated, like some people might try to make it, they have the greatest shooting backcourt known to man,” said Smith.” “There has never been anybody, a backcourt in NBA history, that can shoot like these brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.”
“Anthony Davis don’t have no answer for Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, he can’t be out there guarding those brothers. Somebody else has to do that, somebody else has to follow them around when they’re moving without the ball, to make sure they’re not open when a fast break takes place, all of a sudden you gotta find them on the wings, 30 feet away from the basket because they fire away.
“To me, to knock off LeBron and AD, that’s what it’s going to take, and that’s the only thing it’s going to take.”
Is Klay Thompson healthy?
The success of the Warriors will largely depend on Thompson and his recovery from his knee injury. So far, all signs lately are pointing to him being 100% by the time the season begins. The team recently released a video showcasing Thompson running through drills during the Warriors’ recent practices.
Lil’ peek of Klay hitting the court in The Dubble 👀
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 5, 2020
During the 2019 season, Thompson averaged 21.5 points while shooting 46 percent from the field, and 40 percent from the three-point line. Having a full season playing without Kevin Durant may also help to raise his averages back to his previous years being able to be the second option on the team instead of the third as he was before.
Trading the #2 Pick?
Even with the recovery of Thompson and Curry the Warriors will need to add more pieces to their team if they are to compete on the level they are used to. The majority of their roster is made up of younger players which is a big difference from their veteran filled rosters from their championship-winning years.
With that, ESPN’s Zach Lowe has reported that the team has tried to trade their #2 pick in the draft for an All-NBA level player.
“Rarely have the No. 1 and 2 picks gone to teams in various win-now stages. Both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors have explored trading their picks for All-NBA-level stars, sources say, but no such deal appears (for now) likely to materialize.”
“The Wizards have shown no interest in trading Beal for either pick, sources say. Ditto for Phoenix with Devin Booker and Philadelphia with Ben Simmons. Again: If Beal forces Washington’s hand, a package centered on the No. 1 pick is nothing to sneeze at. Players one tier down are probably not worth a top-two pick.”
It may turn out that the Warriors keep their #2 pick and draft James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, or whomever the Minnesota Timberwolves do not select with the first pick. Time will tell as the deadline for a selection inches closer by the day.