The Warriors' season is over, as they will not be among the 22 teams who will resume the 2019-20 campaign in Orlando.
The NBA Board of Governors today approved a competitive format to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams returning to play and a tentative start date of Friday, July 31.— NBA (@NBA) June 4, 2020
Full release: https://t.co/NYm89lLkX2
Over the coming weeks and months, all the attention from a Golden State perspective will be on the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency.
But before we completely turn the page, let's look back at the season that was. Despite the Warriors finishing with the worst record in the league (15-50), it wasn't all bad.
Stocked up on draft assets
In the sign-and-trade transaction that brought D'Angelo Russell to the Bay Area, the Warriors sent the Brooklyn Nets their 2020 first-round draft pick. But the selection was top-20 protected, so the Warriors will keep the pick after finishing with the worst record (15-50) in the league (Golden State will send Brooklyn its 2025 second-rounder instead).
When the Warriors traded D-Lo to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, they also acquired Minnesota's 2021 first-round pick (top-three protected) and 2021 second-round pick.
By obtaining these very valuable draft picks, Golden State's front office now has the flexibility to possibly trade for a superstar or star player. And if a deal doesn't materialize, the team gets to draft some prospects they hope can turn into star-level players in a Warriors uniform.
Golden State also acquired the Utah Jazz's 2020 second-rounder in the Willie Cauley-Stein trade, and three second-rounders in the deal that sent Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The cupboard was pretty empty and now it's quite full.
Paschall packs punch
On the morning of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Warriors acquired the No. 41 overall pick from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for $1.3 million and a 2024 second-round selection.
Golden State selected Eric Paschall, who went on to average 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 60 games (26 starts), while shooting nearly 50 percent overall.
The 23-year-old grew as a playmaker as well, averaging 6.0 assists over the last six games of the season.
This is a reallllllllllllly nice pass from Eric Paschall to Alec Burks for 3 pic.twitter.com/2sdfzp4SCb— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 9, 2020
Eric Paschall out here getting the rebound, leading the break and throwing the lob pic.twitter.com/Tn4mgqAyX6— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) March 11, 2020
Warriors coach Steve Kerr summed it up best in mid-March.
"Eric Paschall looks like a guy -- because of his physical strength, his power, his confidence obviously -- we could throw into a playoff game right now and he would hold his own," he told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. "That's one of the ways that we kind of look at players and look at the league. When you watch the two best teams in the league play in a regular season game or when you watch any playoff game -- can this player on our roster be out there? The answer with Eric for sure is a resounding yes. And that's exciting.
"To be able to get a guy like that in the second round -- and watch him grow and develop -- that alone makes this a successful season."
But he proved he belongs and should be a very solid rotation player in the NBA for years to come.
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Beware of a motivated Draymond Green
Draymond Green did not have fun during the 2019-20 season. He missed 22 games with various ailments, yet he picked up a league-high 14 technical fouls.
"To everybody out there who want to talk s--t about this year -- I don't really give a f--k," he said in mid-April on the "All the Smoke" podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. "In my opinion, I got better. I got better as a player, I got better as a person and a leader ... and that's gonna make me even better for next year.
"So, I appreciate everybody talking. I kind of needed them to relight that fire under my a--."
The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year didn't bring the fire on a nightly basis because the games didn't have much significance. Everybody knew very early on that the Warriors weren't going to the playoffs, and it put Draymond in a strange position.
The three-time NBA champion -- whose four-year, $99.7 million contract extension begins in 2020-21 -- is highly motivated to get the Dubs back into title contention. And in the process, he wants to resume his place in the league's hierarchy.
"It's honestly been dope as hell these last two All-Stars to go on vacation with my kids and my fiancée," he said. "But I got that itch again. I got to three straight, and I'm like, 'Yeah, all right. I knew I could do it.'
"I kind of lost that itch. ... I got that itch again. I want to get back there."
You got to love and respect how Draymond made these statements, as he knows he needs to make good on them and deliver.
A needed physical and mental break
During their run to five straight NBA Finals appearances, the Warriors took the floor for 105 playoff games. That's a crazy amount of additional basketball and it takes a toll on you.
If we assume the 2020-21 season starts around Christmas Day, Klay Thompson -- who tore his left ACL during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 13 -- will go over 18 months between games.
Steph Curry broke his left hand Oct. 30 and appeared just in five games this season.
The "Splash Brothers" should be very fresh after long layoffs. Combine that with a burning desire to get back to the NBA Finals ... and it should mean trouble for the rest of the NBA.
"It just kills me inside when I see these other teams, so many talking heads and some of my peers saying, 'The dynasty is over, they had a great run,'" Klay said in "Above The Water," a short documentary chronicling his rehab. "I'll just be that eager to prove everyone wrong again."
Next season can't get here soon enough.