Last season, the Warriors were the favorites to win the NBA championship. However, this season the Warriors are the worst team in the NBA. What caused such a precipitous fall? Lack of stars, lack of chemistry, and a plague of injuries. They now have only 8-9 healthy players on their roster, over half of which are new members. The team sees no hope, at least for now.
For the past 5 years, it seemed like NBA fans didn’t bother to watch the finals because they knew that the Warriors had the best odds of winning. With the superteam winning 3 out of 5 straight final appearances, the games always seemed unfair. The Warriors had three or four superstars all on the court at the same time.
In the 2014-15 NBA season, the Warriors signed Steve Kerr as their new head coach. Kerr lead them to a 67-15 record, dominating every team throughout the year. Kerr is ranked the 24th greatest coach of all time. That season winning their first championship in 40 years marked the beginning of a new Warriors dynasty.
The following year was probably the best season they have ever had. Playing a massive 82 games and only losing only 9 of them. The Warriors had achieved the best regular-season record in NBA history. After the finals, Kevin Durant, one of the greatest scorers of all time, decided to sign with the Warriors, after his team had lost to them in the conference finals months prior. With the new addition of KD to an already stacked team of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, their chances of winning it all the following seasons seemed certain.
The next three years were extremely hard for any team facing the Golden State powerhouse, but problems arose in the 2019 playoffs. Their star players started to get injured. It started when Steph Curry, the heart and soul of the team, dislocated his finger, which affected his shooting. Then their best scorer, Kevin Durant went down with an Achilles injury in game 5 of the finals. The very next game Klay Thompson, who was their best two-way player, tore his ACL after going for a layup. That week the Toronto Raptors beat the superteam, ending the Warriors attempt at a three-peat.
A lot of fans, especially Canadian fans, were extremely happy to see the underdogs win and see Kawhi Leonard bring the first-ever championship to the North.
Fast forward to the present day: Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are still injured until the next season and Kevin Durant joined the Brookly Nets as a free agent. Currently, Warrior’s main scorer is rookie Eric Paschall, who was their second-round draft pick. The Warriors have a 9-26 record. The Warriors new young star DiAngelo Russell, whom they got in the off-season, has been playing extremely well. His trade value is up, but General Manager Bob Myers said that he isn’t considering trading him away. That’s a smart thing to say if you want the young star to keep playing the best basketball he can on the court to further raise trade value and hold off until when Curry and Thompson come back. When dynamic duo comes back, D’Lo could be traded for either another star center or for a draft pick.
With the former superteam tanking for the first overall pick, their long term future seems bright. A first draft pick, combined with the return of the “Splash Brothers” (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) next season and a high value tradable DiAngelo Russell, they have a lot of options. They could draft a center, which they have been looking for for a long time, or they could pair up that pick up with DiAngelo Russell for a trade that would get them another superstar. Although the Warriors are at the bottom now, they have a path to bounce right back to where they left off.
Image Credit: Cyrus Saatsaz