It has been nearly eight months since the last time the Warriors played a game, and considerably longer than that since the last time they could be considered legitimate contenders. However, with only a couple of weeks to go until the 2020 draft, NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn't think it'll take long for Golden State to return to that status.
"I’m very confident that they’ll return to contention quickly," Silver told the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau. "I look at the quality of their management. Of course, the quality of the players that are currently on their roster. I have no reason to believe they won’t be back as a top-tier team in the NBA."
The Warriors are coming off a season in which they posted their worst winning percentage in 19 years. But considering Klay Thompson missed all of it and Steph Curry was limited to just five games due to injury, there is every reason to believe it was an outlier. The Splash Brothers and Draymond Green served as the foundation of Golden State's dynasty, and as long as they're around and healthy, it has a chance of persisting.
The Nov. 18 draft likely will play a crucial role in whether or not the Warriors fulfill Silver's expectations. With the No. 2 overall pick, Golden State could add a tremendous young talent, or potentially involve it in a trade to acquire a difference-maker.
Andrew Wiggins also will have a determining impact on the Warriors' ceiling. If he can live up to his vast potential, they already have the fourth star they're looking for. Of course, if the Warriors acquire one in a trade, that almost certainly means Wiggins is headed the other way.
The Warriors have had a historically long wait between seasons. But when it finally comes to an end, they could be right back at or near the top of the ultra-competitive Western Conference.