Warriors

Warriors know Klay's return will determine if they are contenders

Warriors
Klay Thompson, Steph Curry

The Warriors focused on the future Thursday night in the NBA draft, selecting Jonathan Kuminga at No. 7 and Moses Moody at No. 14.

Both Kuminga and Moody will take time to develop and might not play a huge factor in the Warriors' desire to leap back into title contention next season. President of basketball operations Bob Myers and the Warriors know that one player holds the key to whether or not Golden State will be a realistic championship threat next season.

"I think that's mostly on Klay, what he can be," Myers told reporters Thursday when asked if it was realistic to expect the Warriors to contend for a title next season. "Not 'on him,' but with a healthy Klay Thompson we are right there with everybody. But I don't know if, when, how -- I expect him to come back healthy. I don't want to put any pressure on the date because it's not going to be at the start of the season, it's not going to be the first game. But really we need one of our top two or three players to be one of our top two to three players.

"I think that will determine if you put a healthy Warriors team against our competition, looking at the league right now ... with our core of three guys and [Andrew] Wiggins and having [Kevon] Looney and [James] Wiseman and [Jordan] Poole and Juan [Toscano-Anderson] and Eric [Paschall] and Damion [Lee] and everybody that is in our rotation, and maybe one of these young guys gives us more than we thought, then yeah.

 

"I think when you look at this past playoffs or any past playoffs, it's 40 minutes for [Steph] Curry, 40 minutes for [Draymond] Green, 40 minutes for Thompson -- this is even when we were in The Finals. Wiggins played huge minutes [last season]. We're going to need some help, we're going to need to get to the playoffs obviously we didn't there the past two years. But with a healthy team heading into the playoffs, yeah, I don't see a team where we look at and say we can't beat them. Doesn't mean we will."

Myers went on to admit that the Warriors need to add a few veterans in free agency to fill the holes in their roster, so the team, as of right now, can't be considered a title contender. But the belief is that if Golden State can sign a few veterans and Thompson returns healthy at some point next season then the Warriors should be in the title conversation.

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With Curry, Green and Thompson in the back-half of their prime, the Warriors can't waste any more seasons trying to re-ignite the dynasty that once rolled over the league while barely breaking a sweat.

The blockbuster deal the Warriors were hoping to find hasn't materialized. The price for Ben Simmons is too high, Bradley Beal reportedly is content to stay in Washington and Damian Lillard still is working through his future in Portland.

While the Kuminga and Moody picks signal a look to the horizon, Curry still is the present and he showed last season that he still has years of elite play left in the tank. The Warriors have to find a way to get him the help he needs to contend for titles.

If they do that then all eyes will be on Thompson, knowing that a return of a healthy Klay will be what the Warriors need to truly vault back into the championship picture.

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