Does Kirk Lacob believe the Warriors can compete for a championship in 2020-21?
Golden State's executive vice president of basketball operations could not have been more clear when he spoke with Kerith Burke and Grant Liffmann on the "Runnin' Plays" podcast.
"Hell yes. Emphatically yes," he said. "We've got an awesome core that has done this before. It's our job to surround them with enough pieces to not just compete, but really contend. Our job is a lot easier than most of the other front offices around the league (because) we don't have to find Steph (Curry), Klay (Thompson) and Draymond (Green) -- we've got them.
"I 100 percent think we can contend for a championship next year. If we don't, that's on us, and we gotta figure out what we're doing wrong. We 100 percent can -- we will. We've got a lot of ammo now. We didn't have ammo before.
"We were always either picking late or didn't have a pick. We had maybe one (of the taxpayer midlevel exception or a trade exception). That was it. Our team as was had to be good enough, and luckily it was good enough three out of five times.
"Now we've got (ways) to add to this. We just gotta get these next few pieces right, plain and simple. We gotta do it."
To quote the legendary Ace Ventura: "Allllllllrighty then."
[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
The Warriors do have "a lot of ammo" to improve the roster this offseason. When it comes to draft assets, they are guaranteed to end up with a top-five pick in October (14 percent chance of No. 1 overall), and have the very valuable 2021 top-three protected selection they acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in February (plus the T-Wolves' 2021 second rounder, which could be in the early 30s).
They possess a $17.2 million traded player exception, which enables them to acquire a veteran scheduled to make up to that salary amount in 2020-21, or they can strike a couple of deals to net multiple players. For example, they can add someone who makes $9.2 million and someone else who makes $8 million.
Additionally, a legitimate piece could enter the fold via the $6 million-ish taxpayer mid-level exception. Also, there should be several solid options at the veteran minimum. Plain and simple, they have a lot of flexibility and different paths to choose from.
Having said all of this, it's unclear how much money the franchise will be willing to spend because of the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Ownership reportedly is exploring loan options to deal with the pending shortfalls in revenue, and that could make a huge difference.
Ultimately, we will have a much better idea of the Warriors' 2021 title chances in mid-to-late October. Yours truly cannot wait to see how the dust settles.