The Warriors made several roster adjustments this offseason, and each of them help their chances of getting back into a competitive spot in the Western Conference.
But any steps forward they make this season won't solely be based on the newcomers. Returning players have to make improvements as well -- a few players in particular.
Of the more veteran returning players, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins are two guys who have room to grow. Some might ask, how can two already establish players change and grow?
For Green, it's all on offense.
Last season, the Warriors repeatedly said they didn't need Green to score. And while that's true, it sure does help them when he does. This isn't just about Green hitting more 3-pointers (which would also be nice), but more so about him being more aggressive overall on offense.
Green is a better scorer than most people give him credit for. Perhaps an even better scorer than he allows himself to be. But, if he is more assertive on the scoring end, it will force defenses to pay attention to him, not leave him to double or triple-team Steph Curry and help with floor spacing.
Green does not need to score 15 points per game. But, if he could give the Warriors 10 per night, it would open up so many more possibilities and give them an extra boost.
In Wiggins' case, some of his growth also needs to be on the defensive end, especially team defense. When it comes to Wiggins in one-on-one matchups, he can hold his own. However, he never seems to be 100 percent present on team defense. On offense, Wiggins needs to become a better playmaker.
Last season, Wiggins needed to take on a bigger scoring role, and did it in spades. But now moving forward with more capable scorers, if Wiggins can get more facilitating into his role, it would do wonders for the team.
Jordan Poole is in the same boat as Wiggins. Last season, Poole was the point guard in the second unit -- and was even the starting point guard when Curry was out -- but was never seen as the primary ball-handler or facilitator. Poole doesn't need to be all the time. His most lethal skill is his shooting and scoring ability.
However, since the Warriors still don't have an established backup point guard, and don't seem to be making any moves to acquire one, Poole will have to fill that role. If he can fill in as the primary ball-handler at times, this will open up so many more opportunities for him and his teammates.
When discussing certain players' areas of improvement, it's impossible not to mention James Wiseman. The hope is that Wiseman will be able to grow his entire game next season, but that, of course, will take some time. So while aspects of his game, such as post moves and shooting develop, the immediate areas he should address are his rim-protecting and offensive rebounding skills.
If Wiseman does nothing else next season except protect the rim and grab offensive boards -- which, with his 7-foot-3 wingspan, there is no reason he shouldn't be able to -- that's a win for the Warriors. Both of those areas were weak points for Golden State last season. For Wiseman to do this, he needs to become a more disciplined player, making sure he keeps his arms straight up when he goes for a rebound or block to avoid fouling.
He did this here and there last year, but was never able to find a consistent rhythm with it.
If he's able to maintain control of his body and use his size down low on both offense and defense, that will carve out a specific role for him and will keep him from getting pulled off the floor.