Warriors Predictions for Top 2022 NBA Offseason Signings, Trades
The Golden State Warriors entered the 2022 NBA offseason in championship defense mode.
All things considered, they have to feel good about how they're coming out of it.
There were subtractions—most notably, Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr.—but that was inevitable. Most importantly, they found enough money to re-sign Kevon Looney and add both Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green.
With the right amount of development in their young core, the Dubs could conceivably be in better shape next season than their previous banner-raising bunch. It would also help if the following three bold predictions regarding summer signings come to fruition.
Kevon Looney Plays—and Starts—All 82 Games
You don't have to travel too far back to find a time in which it was fair to wonder whether Kevon Looney's hip problems might derail his entire career. He had surgery on his left hip before his rookie season and surgery on his right hip after it.
He has encountered other injury obstacles since, though those were the most threatening. And huge credit to him for burying them in the seemingly distant past. In 2021-22, he not only logged a career-high 21.1 minutes per game, he did so while being one of only five players in the league to appear in all 82 contests.
"It's a huge deal for 'Loon,' and it's a huge deal for me," Warriors skipper Steve Kerr said, per NBA.com's Mark Medina. "It's always an incredible badge of honor for a player to play 82 games and as a coach to be able to rely on somebody 82 times. It's amazing, particularly for it to be 'Loon' given what he has been through in his career."
Despite the previous injury problems, it feels fitting for Looney to have earned that honor since consistency and dependability have become his biggest calling cards. While his odds of repeating the feat can't be great, our crystal ball boldly thinks he'll not only match it, he'll one up it by starting all 82 contests after twice coming off the bench this past season.
Donte DiVincenzo Wins Sixth Man of The Year
Normally, it's best to reserve judgment about a player in a new place until they have a chance to get some run with their new team. Every once in a while, though, the fit looks so perfect on paper that it's fair to assume it will prove just as seamless in practice.
That's the case for Donte DiVincenzo, who can help replace some of Payton's defensive peskiness while adding new layers to this offense as a shooter, shot-creator and off-ball cutter.
"If DV both stays healthy and hits enough of his catch-and-shoot triples ... the Warriors just scooped up one of free agency's biggest steals," Bleacher Report's Dan Favale wrote.
A healthy DiVincenzo—it took time for him to fully recover from a May 2021 ankle injury—can serve as something of a blend of Payton's defense and Jordan Poole's slippery offense. In a best-case scenario, DiVincenzo makes himself invaluable to the Dubs at both ends and receives enough run to take home the honor of being the season's top substitute.
JaMychal Green Shoots 40+ Percent from Three
JaMychal Green couldn't find his shot this past season. Well, he couldn't find his perimeter shot, that is.
His 87.1 free-throw percentage was actually the highest of his career. His 48.6 field-goal percentage was the third-highest he's ever posted. For whatever reason, though, he never found his form from three. The 36.6 percent career long-range shooter connected on only 26.6 percent of his long-range looks, easily his worst such mark as a full-time rotation player.
It's easy to assume he's due for some positive regression. Frankly, he's too good of a shooter to post such a lowly mark again.
Banking on positive regression isn't bold, though. You know what is? Predicting a 40-plus three-point percentage for someone who just misfired on more than 73 percent of his attempts. Oh, and Green has only cleared 40 percent from range once in his eight-year career. Still, he should feast buffet-style on all of the open looks he'll find in this offense, and his percentage could climb higher than ever.