The Warriors had plans to be one of the teams in the upper echelon of the NBA this season, with the return of Klay Thompson from his torn ACL, to join a healthy Steph Curry and Draymond Green with a new cast of teammates.
Unfortunately, after Thompson's devastating offseason Achilles tear, the Warriors have been hovering around the .500 mark for a majority of the season and will be most likely trying to make a playoff push through the play-in tournament.
Looking forward to next season with the presumptive return of Thompson, can the Warriors finally jump back into the race to the NBA Finals?
According to former Warrior Andrew Bogut, not quite yet. "I don't think they are title contenders yet," Bogut said on the recent episode of the Dubs Talk podcast.
Bogut believes there are a few items the Warriors must first cross off their checklist to regain their elite status.
"The development of [James] Wiseman is probably the big one to see where he is at. But when you got Klay, Steph and Draymond, they will win 50-plus, with that lineup being healthy, in my opinion. Then you throw Wiseman in there, they are probably a piece or two away, like an Andre Iguodala. Someone like that, that can really do a lot of things that doesn't need the ball, so they are that thing away from them once again contending," Bogut said.
"Obviously their bench is going to be an issue, beyond their starting five, what are they going to do with their bench," Bogut continued. "No disrespect to those guys, they have a lot of guys on that bench that battle, that are grinders and come out and give you all they got. When you look at how deep the West is, and you look at the Lakers and the Clippers and some of these teams, there probably isn't enough today but I'd imagine that Bob Myers and the front office will do whatever they can to reassess that in the offseason."
As it stands right now, the Warriors have Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiseman under contract for next season, along with options or guaranteed deals for key contributors like Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Damion Lee, Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall. Retaining Kelly Oubre Jr will be on the Warriors wishlist this summer, but financial constraints could make it quite difficult to add any veteran that can help to the level that Iguodala did for the title teams.
It will be up to Myers to get creative and find ways to add through trades, free agency or possibly even the draft. But unless he can strengthen the roster, Bogut believes the Warriors be will just short of their end goal.
"With Steph, Klay and Draymond healthy, and other pieces around them, they are already halfway there, and you have a chance to go to the playoffs, and the first, second or third round, but they are still a few pieces away from once again being that final juggernaut we saw in the past."