The Golden State Warriors have been linked to success for 8 years now. This season was the first time that they had lost a Western Conference playoff series in the Steve Kerr era. Here is the Golden State Warriors 2023-24 NBA season preview:
Jordan Poole is out, Chris Paul is in. Management has done all they could to extend their championship window with their aging core. And while Stephen Curry is in the Bay, they are constantly going to be contenders. But will the new iteration of this team ascend them back into the Finals?
This will be the biggest move for the Golden State Warriors 2023-24 campaign. For what has felt like an eternity, the Warriors have been the thorn in the side of Chris Paul. Whether he was blowing leads to them in the first round as a Clipper, or watching as his team missed 27 straight threes as a Rocket. He’s been a longtime rival of Curry and Draymond Green, but now he joins their side as a grizzled veteran set to help them push for a championship. And the feeling is mutual with his new teammates. This is easily the best situation that Paul has been a part of in his playing career. And his elite playmaking capabilities make Curry and Klay Thompson that much more dangerous off the ball.
The Warriors aren’t usually known for giving their rookies heavy playing time, but the 19th overall pick Brandin Podziemski fills a position of need as a jack-of-all-trades wing. Taking home co-WCC Player of the Year award honors, Podziemski averaged 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game on very efficient shooting last year at Santa Clara. Earlier this week he impressed in a preseason matchup against the Lakers, putting up 10 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds, on 50% from the field, earning compliments from Stephen Curry.
The Warriors have always had a bench stretch four in each of their championship runs, whether it was Mareese Speights, David West, or Nemanja Bjelica. Dario Saric provides that same mobility and spacing, and Coach Kerr called him a “perfect fit,” comparing him to Bjelica.
The fifth year wing is a hardnose defender and a floor spacer, shooting 37% from three last season. The Warriors signed Green late in the preseason, and once he’s acclimated, I’m sure he’s going to work well alongside scrappy players like Gary Payton II.
Jordan Poole seemed like he was on borrowed time in San Francisco ever since the infamous practice punch from Draymond Green. Despite signing a four year, $140 million extension in October of 2022, he was shipped to Washington this summer in return for Chris Paul. The 24 year old now finds himself as a number one option on a rebuilding Wizards team. Kevin Garnett even said that Poole could be set for a James Harden-like breakout season. Only time will tell how this affects the Warriors future.
DiVincenzo was the ideal role player for any team, as a 3&D wing that can plug into any situation as a positive player. However, the Warriors definitely added players to replace DiVincenzo’s value.
Iguodala spent eight of the last ten seasons as a Golden State Warrior, winning four championships and the Finals MVP in 2015. All signs point to him officially retiring, though he hasn’t made a formal announcement just yet. Number 9 is surely to be hanging in the rafters at Chase Center sooner than later due to his impact for the organization.
Though Green is out for a considerable time to begin the season, I believe this will ultimately be the starting five for Golden State, to maximize their defensive capabilities. This was the same five that won them the championship just two seasons ago.
Paul has a strong tendency to make his younger teammates play better, as shown from his stint in Oklahoma City. Once the team is fully healthy, I expect Paul to play a pivotal role as the leader of the bench unit, and could probably be in Sixth Man of the Year talks.
I think the Warriors will be favorites in the West once again. They aren’t necessarily getting the press of the defending champion Nuggets or the Lakers, but they should be. I expect Golden State to finish top 3 in the Western Conference with a 54-28 record, and ultimately make the Western Conference Finals.
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