Is this the last hurrah for the aging Golden State Warriors?
2023-24 NBA Power Rankings Offseason Edition: No. 12 Golden State Warriors
Golden State, which had designs of winning a second consecutive NBA championship, struggled to record a 44-38 and lost in the NBA Western Conference semifinals last year. Granted, the Warriors dealt with the Draymond Green-Jordan Poole fiasco, and Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins missed over 70 combined games. Turnovers and defense, particularly rim-protection and defending the 3-point line, were also issues for the Warriors.
Golden State made a flurry of moves early this offseason. The biggest moves were re-signing Green to a multi-year deal and trading for Chris Paul. The Warriors signed free agents Dario Saric and Cory Joseph. They also drafted Brandin Podziemski and traded for Trayce Jackson-Davis, who was selected late in the second round by the Washington Wizards.
Golden State has been the best team in the NBA since hiring Steve Kerr during the summer of 2014. The Warriors are 473-238 (.665 winning percentage) during the regular season and 99-41 in the postseason. The Dubs have won four NBA titles and six Western Conference crowns.
Best Offseason Move: Signing Dario Saric
Golden State’s most significant issue in terms of roster construction last year was its need for more size up front. The Warriors were dominated by the top frontcourts and finished in the middle of the pack in rebounding and paint points given up. The Dubs ranked in the bottom half of the league in efficiency at power forward and center.
Saric, who stands at 6-foot-10, brings the physicality that the Dubs need and was a low-cost option. He signed a one-year deal for the veterans minimum ($2.7 million). The 29-year-old projects to be Kevon Looney’s primary backup and either the first or second big off the bench. Saric will likely play the five next to Green, Johnathan Kuminga, and possibly Wiggins. He will play the four when paired with Looney.
Besides size and toughness, Saric is someone who can finish around the rim and stretch the floor. He is also an excellent defensive rebounder. He had a decent season after missing 2021-22 due to a torn ACL, producing two double-doubles. Saric averaged 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in less than 15 minutes with a shooting slash line of .458/.391/.829.
Worst Offseason Move: Losing Donte DiVincenzo in Free Agency
The Warriors didn’t have much choice with Donte DiVincenzo leaving as he declined his $4.9 million option after the season and the Dubs being over the tax line. DiVincenzo, a pivotal piece to the Warriors’ second unit, signed a four-year, $46.7 million deal with the New York Knicks. He shot the ball well from deep, making 2.1 treys at a 39% clip while rebounding and handling the ball well. More importantly, DiVincenzo was a +-defender.
While losing DiVincenzo was hard, Paul is undoubtedly an upgrade offensively for this season, as he likely will come off the bench. But Paul is older and not a good defender at this stage. The signing of Joseph also offsets the loss of DiVincenzo as he is a good shooter, excellent ball-handler, and solid defender. Joseph has developed into a competent 3-point shooter.
What’s Next: Finish Filling Out the Roster
Golden State will likely only carry 14 players on opening day, so the Warriors must add one player as they have 13 on standard contracts. The Dubs have a lot of versatile pieces, but they could use another big. They missed out on JaVale McGee, who signed a one-year, fully guaranteed deal with the Sacramento Kings. One possibility is that Andre Iguodala will play another season, which general manager Mike Dunleavy is open to if Iggy returns. However, it is believed that he is likely to retire.
Golden State must also fill two of its two-way slots with Lester Quinones, who re-signed with the team this summer, being the only player on this type of deal.