The Golden State Warriors should be much better in 2020-21 than they were in 2019-20. This is obviously because of the star players that they will have on the court, like Stephen Curry, James Wiseman, and others. However, they also have some new role players who should have a significant impact as well. One role player that could end up meaning a lot to the Warriors this season is Kent Bazemore. He recently sent a message that should be exactly what fans want to hear, too.
The Golden State Warriors should be a top team in 2020-21
The Golden State Warriors made it to five consecutive NBA Finals from 2014-15 through 2018-19 and ultimately won three championships during those years. The 2019-20 season, though, was ultimately a down year for them. Kevin Durant went to the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason, Klay Thompson missed the entire season due to injury, and Stephen Curry only played in five games. Because of all this, the Warriors only went 15-50 overall.
The 2020-21 season, however, should be much different. Sadly, the Warriors won’t have Thompson back after he recently suffered another season-ending injury, but Curry, the two-time MVP, will be back and healthy again. They will also have former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, who they traded for last season, and he averages 19.7 points per game for his career. Three-time All-Star Draymond Green will also be back for the Warriors, and alongside him in the post will be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, James Wiseman.
This is all in addition to the Warriors’ recent acquisition, Kelly Oubre Jr., who they recently acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oubre had a breakout season for the Phoenix Suns last year, as he averaged 18.7 points per game and 6.4 rebounds.
The combination of these five guys should make the Warriors a top team in the Western Conference again, but their role players should also help get them back among the league’s elite. Role players like Kent Bazemore.
Kent Bazemore has been a productive player in his career
The Warriors signed Kent Bazemore this offseason, and he will ultimately give them the depth they need along the wing.
Bazemore actually signed with the Warriors as an undrafted free agent in 2012-13 and ultimately played his first season-and-a-half with Golden State. He didn’t get much playing time with the Warriors, though, before getting traded in 2013-14.
Bazemore then ultimately became a valuable player for the Atlanta Hawks after signing with them in 2014. During the 2015-16 season with the Hawks, Bazemore averaged 11.6 points per game to go with 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He then ended up playing for the Hawks through the 2018-19 season and averaged as many as 12.9 points for them in 2017-18. Bazemore also recorded a career-high 1.5 steals that year.
Kent Bazemore is saying exactly what Golden State Warriors fans want to hear
Bazemore isn’t going to go out and score 15 to 20 points a night for the Warriors, but he has the ability to score some points when they need him to. He will really prove to be valuable on the defensive end of the court, though. In the 68 games he played for the Blazers and Kings last season, Bazemore recorded at least two steals 19 times and two or more blocks nine times.
“I’m going to bring the energy,” Bazemore recently said, according to NBA.com. “Defense is where I hang my hat, ‘shut that water off’ as they say.”
He continued: “Get some rebounds, get some steals, get some blocks… and smile my way back into the playoffs.”
This is a guy who knows what his role will be with the Warriors. He appears to know that if he plays his role, he can help this team become a playoff team again, too. This is all exactly what Warriors fans want to hear.
The Golden State Warriors should be a much better team in 2020-21. Kent Bazemore will most likely be a reason why, too.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference