The Golden State Warriors will look very different going into the upcoming 2020 – 2021 NBA season that starts on December 22nd. After last season where the team only totaled 15 wins, they were looking to enter next season healthy and rejuvenated with all their star players ready to take the league by storm. However, that unfortunately won’t be the case as their star shooting guard Klay Thompson was reported to have torn his right Achilles and will miss the entirety of the season.
Since this news, the team has proactive in adding talent to help keep them as competitive as possible. Over the last week, the team drafted former Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman and University of Arizona guard Nico Mannion, traded for former Phoenix Sun forward ( via the Oklahoma City Thunder) Kely Oubre Jr., and signed former Los Angeles Laker and Warriors Kent Bazemore and former Boston Celtic Brad Wanamaker. They’re taking seriously the task at hand of staying a team to reckon with as two of their primary stars Steph Curry and Draymond Green are still within their primes and will want to compete for as many championships as possible.
The first step in that process is picking which jersey number their new acquisitions will wear for the blue and gold and yesterday those choices were revealed.
What Numbers Will They Wear?
By way of @gswchris on Twitter, it was shown that Oubre Jr. will return to his previous number 12. He wore it while a member of the Washington Wizards and in college as a Kansas Jayhawk.
Oubre Jr.’s acquisition was a swift one from the team. Needing a wing defender with size and good shooting to replicate aspects of Thompson’s departure Oubre Jr. can do just that. During his time in Phoenix, he broke out and increased his production averaging 18.7 points while shooting 35.2% from behind the three-point line.
Of their draft picks, Wiseman has decided to wear the number 33 per Twitter user @EitenneCatalan.
Additionally, Mannion the number 48 pick of the NBA draft has decided to wear number 2.
In college, the 7’1″ Wiseman saw limited actions only playing in three games due to an NCAA suspension. Within that span, he averaged 19.7 points, 3.0 blocks, 10.3 rebounds, and shot 76.9% from the field. He’s expected to be a heavy contribution to the team throughout the season and a foundational block in their future.
Mannion, coming off a high school career that landed him a five-star rating, eventually named to both the All-Pac-12 second team and the All-Freshman Team. During his lone college season, he averaged 14.0 points and 5.3 assists per game. Given the slew of guards in front of him, he has time to grow into a reliable backup combo guard for the team.
Hall of Fame Player Believes Warriors Domination Is Over
NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports 1 Host Shannon Sharpe isn’t one to bite his tongue whenever he is asked his opinion. Last week he elaborated on why he believes the Warriors’ days of being a western conference powerhouse are now over.
“The days of 67-15, the days of 73-9 Golden State Warriors, that’s over. That’s not happening again. The days of them just running wild in the west that’s over. Even with a healthy Klay, they were never going to be that again. Now obviously, you lose a guy that’s the ultimate 3 and D guy. He can go get you 20+, he can go get you 60. But he can D up. He would always take the toughest defensive assignment, that’s why I always thought he was the best two-way player Skip. What he was doing, he was getting Kawhi, KD, he would get LeBron on a nightly basis, and hey Klay we still need you to get up 22 [points a game]. And he was doing it.”
“He just missed the whole season rehabbing an ACL and here we go again. This would be heartbreaking to the Warriors Skip. But even with a healthy Klay I didn’t think they would be a top 3 seed. I don’t see how they would move past the Lakers, Clippers, the Nuggets are going to be in the mix again. I thought they were going to be battling somewhere from 3-5, maybe 4-6? But that’s the best they can do.”
Golden State certainly has its work cut out for them if they plan on competing with the top teams in the NBA’s western conference. While you can never count out any team with a 2-time MVP and former Defensive Player of the Year in their prime, this will absolutely be a test of skill and will for Curry, Green, and their counterparts this season.