Warriors

NBA offseason grades: How Warriors emerged from wild summer of change

Warriors

It's a brand-new day in Warriors land.

In just a matter of weeks, Chase Center will open its doors for the inaugural events at Golden State's new home arena in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, the Warriors will embark on a journey unlike any other in recent years.

Kevin Durant is gone. So are Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. DeMarcus Cousins is a member of the Lakers, and Klay Thompson still is in the early stages of rehabbing a torn ACL.

Yes, it's been an offseason of change for the Warriors, and the aftermath has left them in a nearly unrecognizable state.

After being the third-oldest NBA team last season, the Warriors enter 2019-20 with the eighth-youngest roster in the league. Golden State made a concerted effort to get younger, bringing in the likes of D'Angelo Russell (23), Willie Cauley-Stein (25) and Alec Burks (28) -- all former lottery picks. Through the draft, the Warriors added Jordan Poole (20), Alen Smailagic (18) and Eric Paschall (22).

In somewhat of a pleasant surprise, Kevon Looney was brought back on a three-year contract. The 23-year-old will enter next season having appeared in the fifth-most NBA games of anyone on Golden State's roster.

The extreme turnover has left Steph Curry as the oldest remaining player on the team. He, Thompson and Draymond Green formed the core of the recent/current dynasty, and now it will be up to them to lead the transition into the next one. There's no question the Warriors got worse this offseason -- that's just what happens when you lose one of the greatest players ever -- and their offseason can't be fairly evaluated outside of that context.

 

With that in mind, here's how three media outlets graded the Warriors' offseason:

ESPN
Grade: C+
What they're saying: "Russell is a more talented young player than Golden State otherwise could have hoped to acquire and might prove to be a valuable trade chip, but adding him via sign-and-trade subjected the Warriors to a hard cap that forced them to send a lightly protected first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies with veteran Andre Iguodala. The result is a Warriors team that isn't a sure bet to make the playoffs in 2019-20, with Klay Thompson likely to miss most of the season following his ACL tear during the NBA Finals." -- Kevin Pelton

CBS Sports
Grade: C
What they're saying: "Obviously, the Warriors would have preferred to keep Durant, and losing him takes them from perennial title favorite to a much murkier future. But GM Bob Myers did well to get Russell out of the situation, a 23-year-old All-Star who can either blossom in the Warriors system or be sold to the highest bidder. Losing Iguodala and Livingston hurts, but Golden State made a clear effort this offseason to get younger and more athletic. Re-signing Thompson was the top priority, and bringing back Looney must have been a pleasant surprise given their cap situation. That being said, they're no longer the chalk title favorite they once were, so that has to be reflected in their grade." -- Colin Ward-Henniger

[RELATED: What Steph said to KD in moments after his Achilles injury]

Bleacher Report
Grade: B
What they're saying: "Really, their entire summer comes down to whether D'Angelo Russell is worth more to them as a player or eventual trade asset than Andre Iguodala and two first-round picks. That's not an easy call. Russell ran more pick-and-rolls per game last year than anyone except Kemba Walker. Golden State doesn't play that way, and it could get even harder to integrate him once Klay Thompson returns from his torn ACL.

"Still, Russell is a 23-year-old All-Star. Gambles can get worse. The Warriors assume plenty of risk, and we must hedge accordingly. But he elevates their post-Durant ceiling, either as a trade asset or keeper, without lowering their floor.

"From getting Russell to retaining Thompson and Kevon Looney to taking cheap fliers on Alec Burks, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glenn Robinson III, Golden State did a respectable job navigating the loss of an all-time great and the dissolution of a dynasty." -- Dan Favale