Warriors offseason primer: Everything you need to know

The Warriors aren’t going to rest on their laurels this offseason. Expect Golden State to do whatever is necessary to defend their NBA Title. 

Stephen Curry powered the Golden State Warriors to an impressive win over the Celtics in last season’s NBA Finals but he’s not the sort of player to be satisfied with one title. Curry and everyone else inside the Warriors organization have already turned their collective attention towards repeating the feat next year.

The good news for Golden State is that their star-studded core is all under contract for the 2022-23 campaign. The challenge for the front office will be rebuilding or retaining a quality bench. The idea of bringing guys like Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II back into the fold will appeal to head coach Steve Kerr but it would also cost the franchise a fortune in luxury tax payments.

Don’t look for Golden State to cheap out though. They’re a high-revenue franchise that knows the financial value of winning titles. That’s why the smart money is on the Warriors being aggressive again this offseason.

What will the Warriors roster look like come September?

Golden State has nine players under guaranteed contracts for this season counting first-round draft pick Patrick Baldwin, Jr. All of them project to be solid contributors for a team with legitimate championship aspirations.

The questions the Warriors will need to answer exist at the bottom of the roster. Roster spots 9-15 will be up for grabs as soon as free agency begins. Looney and Payton II will be priority free agents to retain. Guys like Andre Iguodala and Nemanja Bjelica also could be worth bringing back into the fold. It’s still fair for fans in the Bay area to expect to see a lot of new faces on the bench when next season tips off.

Projected Warriors starting 5

The continuity of Golden State’s stars makes predicting their starting lineup pretty straightforward. Curry will be the team’s starting point guard on open night barring injury. Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins give the team one of the best wing duos in the NBA. Draymond Green will continue to occupy the four spot in Kerr’s starting lineup.

The one spot up for grabs is the center position. In a perfect world, the Warriors would love to see James Wiseman figure things out and seize that spot. The odds favor the team figuring out a way to bring Looney back due to his excellent rebounding and defensive versatility. Wiseman may get some charity starts over his veteran counterpart but Looney should keep a stranglehold on his place in the team’s closing five.

Who should the Warriors target in free agency?

If Golden State wants to go in a different, cheaper direction at center they might entertain the idea of signing Dewayne Dedmon. He’s a reasonably versatile defender who could also help the Warriors stretch the floor even more on offense. He might be willing to take a bargain contract to play for a championship contender.

Josh Okogie is another interesting reclamation project for the team to consider. The Timberwolves cut him loose because his shooting hasn’t developed at all since arriving in the league. He does, however, possess elite athleticism. It’s possible he could give the Warriors an upgrade over Payton if they’re willing to roll the dice on the former Georgia Tech standout.

Possible Warriors trade targets

Kenrich Williams could turn into a shrewd trade acquisition target if Golden State wants to acquire an upgrade over what they got from Otto Porter last season. The Thunder are certainly open to moving the veteran wing and the Warriors should be able to meet their asking price if they’re so inclined.

Kerr and the team’s brain trust could also elect to address the center position via trade. The idea of landing Rudy Gobert is a pipedream. A more modest idea might be calling the Spurs to arrange a deal for Jakob Poeltl. San Antonio is in the dealing mood and Poeltl could turn into a better version of Looney in Kerr’s system.

Projected Warriors cap space

There is no way for the Warriors to manufacture any cap space. They’re going to pay a fortune in luxury tax even if they let their bench free agents go.

Warriors NBA Draft results

Golden State rolled the dice on Patrick Williams Jr. with the No. 28 pick in the first round. He was a highly thought of prep prospect who really struggled playing for his father at UW-Milwaukee in college. He has some intriguing physical tools but it’s hard to see him contributing as a rookie.

The team traded for Ryan Rollins in Round 2 and he’s a good bet to stick on the roster as a low-cost bench guy. Fellow second-round pick Gui Santos appears to be a draft-and-stash guy for the financially strapped Warriors.

Warriors outgoing free agents

The Warriors will probably lose more than their fair share of outgoing free agents. Looney should come back but Payton II should be a cap casualty. Bjelica and Iguodala are just as likely to go as stay.

Other guys on the bottom of the bench will depart without fanfare. It will be easy for Golden State to attract the best minimum players to chase rings alongside Curry and company.

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