Warriors Predicted to Repeat as Champs Next Year Over Unlikely Challenger

Multiple members of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Multiple members of the Golden State Warriors.

Coming off of two seasons marred by injury and disappointment, the Golden State Warriors were not popular picks to win the NBA title in 2021-22.

Man, what a difference a year makes.

A panel of ESPN basketball experts predicted on Wednesday, August 10, that the Dubs would repeat as NBA champions in 2022-23. The Warriors were projected to win the next title, earning 36.8% of first-place votes from contributors to the panel, as well as to win the Western Conference, with 52.6% of voters selecting them first.

The Los Angeles Clippers came in second place to win both the West (31.6% of first place-votes) and to win the championship (26.3% of first-place votes).

ESPN basketball writers selected the Boston Celtics as the franchise most likely to win the Eastern Conference (42.1% of first-place votes). The Celtics also finished third in the voting as the most likely NBA champion in 2022-23 (10.5% of first place votes).

The Milwaukee Bucks finished in fourth place as title favorites (10.5% of first place votes), while the Miami Heat came in fifth (5.3% of first-place votes).

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Warriors to Bring Back Championship Core For Next Season

GettyDraymond Green (left), Klay Thompson (center) and Stephen Curry (right) of the Golden State Warriors pose for a photo after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The primary reason for the faith in the Warriors to repeat for a second time in the last decade is the fact that the core of Golden State’s most recent championship team is returning fully in tact.

Steph Curry is under contract for the next four seasons. Klay Thompson is signed up through the next two years, while Draymond Green has one more guaranteed year on his deal and a player option for 2023-24.

Andrew Wiggins also has a year left on his current deal, while Jordan Poole comes up for his first extension next offseason. The Dubs signed center Kevon Looney to a three-year contract this offseason.

It may prove difficult for the Warriors to keep the entire group together following the 2022-23 campaign, as Green, Thompson, Wiggins and Poole are all eligible for extensions. However, the NBA salary cap is likely to spike with the renegotiation of television deals in 2024, meaning it is reasonable to believe that the Dubs could bring back three of the four aforementioned players, who would join Curry in the Bay Area over the next several years.

Warriors’ Young Group of Contributors Make For Promising Future

Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody of the Golden State Warriors.

GettyRookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are among the group of young talent who represent the future of the Golden State Warriors.

Beyond the championship-proven veterans on Golden State’s roster, the group of young talent is also impressive.

Poole factors into this category, assuming the Warriors retain his services moving forward. He joins former No. 2 pick James Wiseman and 2021-22 rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody among the group of coveted assets currently in the Dubs’ stable.

Golden State’s chances to win the title could be buttressed even more were they to trade multiple youthful members of their roster for Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, who has made his desire to be moved known on multiple occasions this offseason.

However, holding onto their young assets could position the Warriors’ dynasty to continue beyond even the retirement of Curry, Thompson and Green in a best-case scenario.

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