For the first time in five seasons, the Warriors find themselves in new territory entering the 2019-20 season. With Kevin Durant gone to the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson rehabbing his surgically repaired left ACL and eight new players on the roster, the Warriors are not the preseason NBA title favorites.
As the Warriors reconcile a new reality, the rest of the Western Conference has retooled with superstar talent. Over the next seven days, NBC Sports Bay Area will examine teams that are expected to challenge Golden State's Western Conference throne.
Friday's edition: The Portland Trail Blazers
After reaching the Western Conference Finals, the Blazers had a busy summer, adding seven new players to the roster. The biggest move came when the team brought in Hassan Whiteside, who was acquired in a trade with the Miami Heat that sent Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard out of town.
Whiteside -- who has the potential to be one of the best bigs in the league -- often drew the ire of his Heat teammates for his inconsistency. But at his best, the eighth-year center is a consistent double-double threat who can protect the rim with his athleticism. With injured center Jusuf Nurkic out for the beginning of the season while recovering from a brutal leg fracture, the Blazers hope Whiteside can fill the void.
As for the rest of the roster, Portland general manager Neil Olshey traded forward Evan Turner to Atlanta for Kent Bazemore. Forward Rodney Hood -- after an impressive postseason performance -- re-signed with the team, while the Blazers took a flier on 39-year-old Pau Gasol.
However, Portland's biggest transaction was reserved for Oakland native Damian Lillard, who signed a four year, $196 million supermax contract.
With Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers have one of the best backcourts in the league. The two combined to average 46.8 points per game last year.
Behind the duo's output, the Blazers were one of the best offensive units in the league, averaging 114.7 points per game, sixth-best in the league, while posting a 113.7 offensive rating.
Portland had one of the worst benches in the league last season, averaging just 18.7 points per game. That number doesn't seem to be going up unless the team can get contributions from Hood, 20-year old Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr.
The Blazers -- who were 16th in 3-point shooting last year -- will have to overcome the loss of sharpshooter Seth Curry, who signed with the Mavericks in July. Offseason signings of Anthony Tolliver and Kent Bazemore could ease the pain.
How the Warriors stack up
With just one true center on the roster, the Warriors could struggle with Portland's frontline. However, the Warriors have owned Portland over the last five years. Since 2012, the Warriors own an 18-7 record against the Trail Blazers, including an 8-1 mark in the postseason.
Last season, Stephen Curry averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in a postseason sweep over the Blazers, while Draymond Green averaged a near triple-double.
Portland has a roster that can push the new-look Warriors in the regular season as the team finds itself, but it's hard betting against Golden State in a potential postseason matchup.