While the basketball world turns its collective eye toward Oklahoma City for one of the most anticipated NBA Finals matchups in league history, Golden State Warriors fans have their eyes on June 28, 2012.
The NBA draft has rarely carried this much weight for an organization with more than its fair share of lottery selections.
Following a disappointing rookie campaign for head coach Mark Jackson highlighted by 23 wins and 43 losses, a Monta Ellis-for-Andrew Bogut swap and a never-quite-fully-embraced tanking campaign that needed a favorable coin toss to salvage the seventh selection in the upcoming draft, the Warriors will once again enter a season with plenty of hope—and, for once, an NBA-sized starting five.
This postseason has been largely marked by the evolving playoff picture in the Western Conference with the Thunder overtaking the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs in one postseason to emerge as the new conference powerhouse. But it's the changes at the bottom of the playoff race that the Warriors should focus on.
With a few positive steps in the first full offseason for Jackson, Jerry West and new general manager Bob Myers, the Warriors could close the gap between being stuck in the lottery and hosting a first-round playoff series.