Warriors

Breaking down Warriors' projected roster by position groups

Warriors
Steph Curry Jordan Poole

Despite all the anticipation and speculation for months, the Warriors did not make a franchise-altering trade this NBA offseason. They played the cards they had, drafting two first round lottery picks and using veteran minimum contracts to enhance their roster. 

Could they still take a big swing and trade for a star? Absolutely, considering they have a wealth of young promising players and contracts to match any incoming salary. The likelihood of any major trade is much higher in the middle of the upcoming 2021-22 season, however, so the Warriors will almost assuredly start this campaign with their currently constructed roster. So let's take a look at the roster by position groups:

Guards

Steph Curry, Jordan Poole

If depth is an issue anywhere on their roster, it is definitely in the backcourt. When Curry and Poole are healthy, there will not be many minutes to go around for any other guard, but as the Warriors have learned the hard way over the last couple seasons, good health is not guaranteed.

Golden State definitely can use another guy who can handle the rock and make plays for teammates, while also being able to match up defensively with smaller, quicker opponents. There is an open competition for the final 15th roster spot, with the frontrunners being Gary Payton II, who could fill that exact void, and Mychal Mulder, who blossomed late last season as a floor spacing two-guard but not as a playmaker.

 

The Warriors did sign Chris Chiozza to a two-way contract, so should they decide to keep Mulder on the roster, they could use Chiozza as their fallback option at point guard. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala can both run an offense if need be as well, so there are less traditional options available too.

Shooting Guard/Small Forward

Klay Thompson, Damion Lee, Moses Moody

Seeing as the league definitely has accepted more "positionless basketball," it is hard to simply label players in a position based on their stature. So instead, one way to distinguish groups is by the opponents they could possibly defend. In this case, players such as Thompson, Lee and Moody could match up against the opponent's shooting guards or small forwards. 

Thompson is the big wild card of course, and it's unknown when he will return from his torn Achilles and at what capacity. So in the meantime, a player like Lee will have to step up and fill minutes spacing the floor and playing within the flow of the offense, something he has shown to be capable of. It is even possible that Lee starts in the backcourt next to Curry to begin the season.

It is not yet known what a young, raw player like Moody will be able to do immediately in the NBA, so it is hard to count on him. Mulder would be an addition to this group if he were to make the squad, and could definitely find sporadic minutes in the rotation until Thompson returns.

Small Forward/Power Forward

Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter Jr, Andre Iguodala, Jonathan Kuminga

What was once the position with the least depth just last season, is now loaded with veteran wings. Wiggins blossomed over the final 33 games of last season, averaging just under 21 points per game, on highly efficient shooting, while playing great individual defense. The big question is whether or not he can maintain that consistency throughout next season and perhaps even grow into a better playmaker.

Porter, when healthy, is the perfect addition to the Warriors as he can nail shots from deep and play solid defense. Iguodala is the veteran leader and "babysitter" the Warriors have needed in the second unit, so his presence should contribute to success in ways that may not show up in his individual stat lines. Kuminga is massively talented and has the potential to be a star in the league, but expecting much out of him in high-pressure NBA basketball to begin the season would be misguided. If he can find a niche playing spot minutes of energetic defense and transition offense, there might be some playing time to be had. 

Power Forward/ Small-Ball Center

Draymond Green, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Nemanja Bjelica

The Warriors should also feel very comfortable with this position group. There have been rumors that Golden State still could be interested in Paul Millsap, which makes sense since he still is a productive player in the league and can provide more veteran leadership behind the scenes. However, using the 15th spot on Millsap would be somewhat redundant with the depth of the current roster, and it would take away minutes from players like Toscano-Anderson, who showed some great promise last season.

 

No addition will be taking minutes away from Green, of course. Last season he displayed the same defensive ferocity and intelligence that we have seen throughout his career, and despite his shooting and scoring falling off, his playmaking took a leap.

Bjelica has a chance to be a great floor-spacing complement on the court with Green.

Center

Kevon Looney, James Wiseman

This will be a position full of intrigue this season, as all eyes will be on Wiseman and his development. Should he come in fully healthy to training camp, he will compete with Looney to earn the starting spot.

RELATED: Moody evaluates fellow rookie Kuminga after Summer League

Last season, the Warriors had a serious depth issue at center, so simply adding someone like Bjelica does not necessarily solve that situation should injuries mount again. Perhaps they're more comfortable playing Green at center full-time if injuries were to strike again. 

The Warriors also could decide to use the 15th spot on another center, perhaps even taking a look at former Warrior Marquese Chriss again, or they could add a big man on the second two-way spot.

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