The Golden State Warriors believe that next season will be their return to the top of the Western Conference standings, and oddsmakers appear to agree.
With Klay Thompson back from injury, Stephen Curry coming off a scoring title, and Draymond Green demonstrating that he’s still a formidable defensive force, the Warriors have the framework to compete, but they’ll need more. The presence of last year’s No. 2 overall choice James Wiseman, who had the usual challenges of a rookie player finding his place on an established team before an injury terminated his season, exemplifies how they’ve been trapped in the middle of two worlds the last two years.
The Warriors have two lottery picks in this year’s draft at Nos. 7 and 14, but adding two more rookies isn’t precisely what Curry, Thompson, and Green require. Trade speculations are circulating around the Warriors’ picks as the Draft approaches, just as they were last year, but this year there appears to be a mandate from their top players to make a move.
The Warriors’ star trio has made it obvious to management, according to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, that they want them to go seek quick help for a championship run this offseason, which means trading those lottery picks for an impact veteran.
Sources verified that the Warriors’ three of players — Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson — have made it clear to management that they want the team to focus on winning a championship, even if that means utilizing its two lottery picks to grab someone who can help right away. The Warriors’ goal this offseason, according to general manager Bob Myers, is to acquire more veteran presence.
Should the Warriors take that path, Beal, a third-team All-NBA guard for the Washington Wizards, is regarded as the greatest player and best fit for the Warriors among the players who could be available this offseason.
The Warriors are likely to offer the Wizards Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, and their two lottery picks this year in exchange for Beal. That’s obviously not a bad deal, but if the Wizards agreed to move Beal — who has often stated his desire to play in the nation’s capital — they’d be inundated with proposals from all across the league, including ones that might easily outbid the Warriors’ offer.
The piece’s most intriguing nugget is that, while Damian Lillard is heavily coveted throughout the league, he does not want to come home to the Bay Area, according to Thompson. If Beal is not available in negotiations, the Warriors will have to look elsewhere, with Pacers big man Myles Turner being a possible target for the Warriors who would not require them to move Wiseman.
In any case, it is clear that while last year the Warriors’ stars were content to let the chips fall as they may, this year they want to leave no doubt in the minds of management that they expect them to build a title contender in the immediate term, future assets be damned.