NBA

NBA: The Warriors’ Offseason Changes Are More Dramatic Than You Realize

Stephen Curry (from left), Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson remain with the Warriors, but the rest of the roster changed dramatically in the 2019 offseason.

When the final buzzer sounded at the end game-six of the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors walked off the court with their hopes of a repeat dashed. Kevin Durant’s injuries in the playoffs made defeating Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors that much tougher, and ultimately they couldn’t get the job done.

After this season, there was a mass exodus of players, as Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins left for new opportunities through free agency. The team also dealt Andre Iguodala, but we expect him to finish the season in a Warriors uniform. 

Today we will analyze all of their roster moves and determine what fans can expect from them this upcoming season.

Roster moves

Adding D'Angelo Russell (middle) was part of the Golden State Warriors' dramatic roster shift in the 2019 offseason.
Adding D’Angelo Russell (middle) helped make the Warriors one of the youngest teams in the NBA. | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Golden State has gone from one of the oldest teams to one of its youngest. They not only added 23-year old D’Angelo Russell, but Willie Cauley-Stein is just 25, and the average age of the team has gone from 28.9 years old with six players over 30, to 24.1 years old. Stephen Curry is the only 30-plus-year old on the team once the season starts (Draymond Green and Klay Thompson both turn 30 during the season).

Here is a list of all the Golden State Warriors key roster moves this off-season:

  • Traded Andre Iguodala to Memphis
  • Traded for D’Angelo Russell
  • Signed Draymond Green to a four-year $100 million contract extension
  • Signed Willie Cauley-Stein to a one-year deal
  • Gave Klay Thompson a five-year $189 million contract extension

The team adding D’Angelo Russell is extremely valuable with Klay Thompson out until at least March with a torn ACL. He will provide help on the offensive end of the floor for two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Thompson should be back in time for the playoffs, and it will be interesting to see how he fits in with the rest of the lineup.

Signing Willie Cauley-Stein is also an excellent move, as the former Kings center was often overlooked during his time in Sacramento. He can provide scoring and defensive help on the Warriors front line, which has always been a weakness for the team.

Will this force the Warriors to change their style of play?

The Golden State offense will look a lot different from the past three seasons. When you have someone as talented as Kevin Durant on the offensive end of the floor, teammates can become complacent and simply stand there watching him play ISO basketball. The Warriors should become one of the fastest-paced teams in the league with the additions of Russell and Cauley-Stein providing youth and energy into the starting lineup.

Don’t expect them to be at the level the Sacramento Kings were last season, but we expect a faster and exciting style of play from Golden State.

What we expect from the team next season

Before trading for D’Angelo Russell Golden State looked like a No. 4 seed at best. We expected Stephen Curry to put up over 30 points per game as he willed the Warriors into the playoffs. Russell allows Curry to get more spells in the backcourt, and we think he can average over 20 points per game next season. 

Draymond Green’s extension shows the team has faith in him to keep his cool under pressure. He could return to the Defensive Player of the Year candidate fans love. 

If Golden State can take care of business in the regular season, there’s no reason they can’t compete with the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, and Trail Blazers during the Western Conference playoffs. We predict 45 wins for them, and the No. 5 seed come playoff time.

How do you feel about the Warriors roster moves?

Do you think Golden State will have more of an advantage now that they have become one of the youngest teams in the league? It will be an exciting conference race, and we think it could be an amazing regular season for NBA fans.