Former Warriors center and NBA champion Andrew Bogut has seen the different stages an organization can go through when it rises from a bottom dweller to a perennial champion. When the Warriors acquired the big man from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012, the Warriors were the laughing stock of the league.
A few years later, the Warriors made a massive leap through developing their youth into the stars they are today.
With all his experience, Bogut has a unique perspective on the ways organizations can approach the process of creating a contender, and he sees that the current Warriors team is at a crossroads.
"Are the Warriors going the development route, the [trade] route, or are they going the hybrid route?" Bogut said on the Dubs Talk podcast. "Now I don't think the hybrid works for them, I think they have to go one or the other. And I was probably in the boat of trying to throw [James] Wiseman and something else for [Bradley] Beal back a few months ago.
"Just for the basis that you get Beal for right now you're probably moving up, and being more competitive this season, and then next season you've got a legitimate lineup out there."
Not only do the Warriors have to make a decision on Wiseman moving forward, they also might have another huge asset on the way with the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected pick in this year's NBA draft. If the Warriors were to obtain that pick this year, that would be another huge asset that they would have to decide if they want to flip for a solidified star, or select a player and develop him.
To Bogut, the question that the Warriors face is purely based on the developmental timeline, and if it can intersect with Steph Curry's elite play.
"So that comes down to the question of Steph's getting older, he still will be able to play long term because of the way he shoots the ball, but at the elite level we are seeing today, who knows how long he has left there. A couple years probably, two or three years at the level he is today, and he will have a slight decline just from age.
"Also Klay [Thompson's] health, do you go for the home run and say we have got Steph at this elite level for another two or three years, do we want to bring in a Bradley Beal or bring an [Andre] Iguodala type that really puts us over the top and have us that one knockout punch again for a championship, or do you just go in the middle of the pack and develop Wiseman and Steph sails off without another championship," Bogut said.
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It undoubtedly will be a busy offseason for Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers and the front office, as they decide the route they will go down. First, the Warriors will be watching the NBA Draft Lottery closely to see if they land the Wolves pick, and then the focus will temporarily shift to Wiseman's rehabilitation from his torn meniscus.
Throw in Kelly Oubre Jr's upcoming free agency and the actual NBA draft, and Myers clearly will have a lot of tough decisions to make.
So what route will they choose?
"That's the question and that's probably a stressful conversation they are having in that war room at the Warriors," Bogut explained. "Because there is no real right answer, while winning a championship is the be all and end all, you also want to have Steph sent out the right way and give him the opportunity to compete for a championship.
"That then obviously loses you the opportunity to develop a kid like Wiseman who can make that move, where he can be an all-league center in five to 10 years."