NBA Reporter: Warriors "Punting" Next Season

The Warriors aren't going to tank next season, Mark Medina says, but they're not a legitimate playoff team

Reiter Than You
July 01, 2019 - 9:33 pm
Steph Curry Golden State Warriors

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It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Golden State Warriors. They lost to the Raptors in the NBA Finals, they lost Kevin Durant to the Nets in free agency, and they lost Klay Thompson to a torn ACL.

So, where do they stand heading into next season?

“They’re kind of in a gray area,” Warriors reporter Mark Medina said on Reiter Than You. “I don’t think internally they’re thinking because Kevin Durant is gone and Klay Thompson is out for half of next year . . . ‘OK, we’re a lottery team.’ At the end of the day, they still have Steph Curry and Draymond Green. As talented as Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are, I think from a chemistry standpoint when you’re looking a those four All-Stars, Steph and Draymond were the most important because they provided two distinctly different things.”

Curry, of course, provides shooting and offense, while Green provides defense and playmaking.

“I think there’s a feeling they can overachieve and be a be a 6-, 7-, or 8-seed,” Medina said. “At that point, all bets are off. They have the experience and equity to know what it takes to win a playoff series. Sometimes it just comes down to who’s the healthiest. But I would say this: if there is a major injury to Steph or Draymond, things could get pretty bad quickly. So they’re not entering the season thinking lottery, but at some point maybe it winds up going that way.”

The Warriors did acquire D’Angelo Russell from the Nets in a sign-and-trade, but Medina didn’t like the move.

“I don’t see how he and Steph Curry complement each other well,” he said. “I think it could create more complications than solve them, even if he provides another scoring punch to offset Klay Thompson being absent for at least half of next season.”

Medina, in fact, does not believe Russell will be a Warrior one year from now – or potentially even six months from now.

“The way it was explained to me was they’re basically punting next season,” Medina said. “I’m not going to say they’re tanking. They just don’t see themselves as a legitimate playoff team. But they’re trying to clear the deck with a lean payroll simply so they have better purchasing power next summer. D’Angelo Russell, I would be surprised if he’s on the team for the whole season. I think the hope is that they lean on him to open the season, and then once he’s eligible to be traded in December, they could gets some offers. There’s no way around it; he is an attractive asset. The Lakers certainly want him back. There’s other teams that would want him. There’s a feeling that the Warriors could flip him for something greater at some point later on in the season.”

Click below to listen to Medina's interview in its entirety.