The Warriors have won the NBA Championship, for the fourth time in eight years. And this one might be the sweetest one of all. Emotions could be seen in every single player’s face, no less from Stephen Curry, the leader of the charge and latest winner of the Bill Russell Finals MVP award.
However, now with the parade a few weeks in the past, the off-season is now in full swing. The Warrior’s front office needs to now answer an important question – how are they going to keep the key players of this championship run to hopefully run it back next year, while also not surging into record-breaking levels of luxury tax payments.
The first piece of the puzzle was drafting well. Of course, with the Warriors having a high seed in the regular season, they were left with the 28th pick, the 44th pick, and the 55th pick. With the 28th pick, they selected Patrick Baldwin Jr. While projected to be a lottery pick after being the number 4 prospect out of high school, PBJ had not shown out well in college and underperformed significantly in the NBA combine, both due to a recent ankle injury. If the Warriors can help nurse PBJ back to health, in a few years he could become a significant contributor to their win-now roster and an absolute steal of this draft.
The second piece of the puzzle was to figure out which players the Warriors would re-sign, who they would let go, and who they would acquire from this free agency class. Free Agency began on June 30, and blockbuster trades have already been occurring. Rudy Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for essentially 5 first-round picks, and the Atlanta Hawks will now be pairing star guard Trae Young with young talent Dejounte Murray.
The Warriors, as the reigning champions, as expected have not been a part of any large signings or trades. Likely due to the luxury tax, the Warriors let go of star defensive player Gary Payton II and past third overall pick Otto Porter Jr. While these were tough losses for the dubs, they were able to re-sign Kevon Looney, an integral part of the Warriors system, to a 3-year 25.5 million dollar deal. They also picked up a steal of a contract in Donte DiVincenzo. While DiVincenzo had an off-year last year, he was just coming off of an injury, and when healthy, the Warriors system will surely treat him well. An athletic guard defender with size, the Warriors will likely use him as a GPII substitute.
Warriors fans are looking forward to what other signings the front office makes – hopefully signing a large wing defender with size and rebounding is on the table, and potentially a third-string center on the veteran minimum.