The Warriors may have lost in the NBA Finals, but that does not mean that they didn’t have a great season. Even without a title, a 73-win regular season is the greatest of all time. They failed to defend their championship, but they have still the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green, making them a contender for next season. They are definitely one of the top teams in The Association and that will not change for next season.
Here are the per game statistics for the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 73-9 .487 .416 16.7 21.8 10.0 28.9 8.4 6.1 15.2 20.7 114.9
Here are the per game statistics for their opponents:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 9-73 .435 .332 18.6 24.5 11.4 22.2 8.7 4.1 14.5 19.8 104.1
The Warriors roster will largely stay the same for next season, barring a major signing like Kevin Durant, which still seems unlikely to me. However, Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes will be both free agents. With Andrew Bogut getting older and still suffering with injury issues, Ezeli should be resigned by the Warriors. Ezeli had a fairly good season this year, but it will be interesting to see how ready he is to become an every game starter for the Dubs. On the other hand, Barnes might not be in Golden State next year. He is likely to receive a maximum contract by someone other than the Warriors, and I see him accepting. With that being said, another small forward will a smooth stroke would be someone that the Warriors should look to add to their roster.
With the #30 pick in the draft, the Warriors will probably not find their replacement for Barnes here. In fact, I think they will probably go for a foreign player who might become a draft-and-stash prospect. In doing this, the Warriors would free up a roster spot to make room for another weapon for a title run. With so much of the draft playing out ahead of them, it is nearly impossible to name a few prospects that they could target. Still, we will certainly find out come Thursday.
As I mentioned earlier, the Warriors will look for a replacement of Harrison Barnes this offseason. Of the reasonable options in free agency, Golden State could target guys like Luol Deng, Allen Crabbe, or Courtney Lee. These players are all viable starting options, although not the top-tier. If the team looks for a top-tier small forward, then Nicolas Batum and Kevin Durant (yes, that Kevin Durant) become options.
So the Warriors were not the 2016 NBA Champions, but there is still a lot to talk about in Golden State. Their team had a record-setting season this year and could be just as good next year, as crazy as that sounds. Even without being the defending champions, they will still the Finals favorite for next season prior to the start of the year.
Previous Offseason Forecast: San Antonio Spurs (67-15).
And that’s all I have for now, so this is me…signing off. -Lukas.