Warriors' Complete 2021 NBA Offseason Guide
The Golden State Warriors' attempt to rejoin the ranks of NBA contenders starts now.
While they missed the playoffs for the second straight season, they had two elements that should embolden them to make an all-in push for the crowd. Namely, Stephen Curry showed he can dominate the offensive end like few others can, and Draymond Green did the same for what became a top-five defense.
Add a hopefully healthy Klay Thompson to the mix, and the Warriors have what they have already seen can be a championship core.
But the rest of the roster needs work, and Golden State has ways to attack those deficiencies this offseason.
Roster Situation and Assets
Golden State has $154.9 million in guaranteed contracts spread among eight players for next season, per Basketball Insiders.
That includes the aforementioned trio of Curry, Green and Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and last year's No. 2 overall pick, James Wiseman. Rounding out the locked-in roster are Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Eric Paschall.
Kevon Looney holds a $5.2 million player option. The salaries of Damion Lee, Alen Smailagic, Mychal Mulder and Gary Payton II are all non-guaranteed. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kent Bazemore are ticketed for unrestricted free agency.
On the trade front, the Warriors hold several assets. Wiseman is 20 and loaded with physical tools. He is as raw as his age suggests, but he showed plenty of promise before a knee injury cut short his campaign. The Warriors might also have two lottery picks in the upcoming draft: their own and a top-three-protected pick owed to them by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Before getting to the hard calls awaiting this front office, let's start with easy one.
Curry, whose contract is set to expire after next season, is eligible for a four-year, $215 million extension. Perhaps that sounds far into the future for a 33-year-old with some injury issues in his past, but he's worth it. In his age-32 season, he won his second scoring title and wound up as an MVP finalist. The Warriors sound ready to make that offer and hopeful he will put pen to paper on it.
"I don't see any reason not to be optimistic," Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters. "He seems like he's motivated; we're motivated. I would say pretty confident we'll get something done."
The tougher situations for Myers involve Oubre and the future assets.
Oubre never looked comfortable in his role as the emergency replacement for Thompson, and with the sharpshooter on the way back, the 25-year-old may be out of a starting spot. It's unclear whether he would be interested in running it back as a reserve or if Golden State would take a massive luxury tax hit to sign him for such a role.
Lastly, the Dubs must decide whether it's better to keep their prospects and picks for themselves or flip them in a trade for more immediate support. They don't have a lot saved up for their future, but that may not be of much concern if they want to maximize what's left of Curry's championship window.
Areas of Need and Potential Targets
The Warriors don't have to shoot for the stars this summer if they don't want to.
If they are confident that Curry, Green, Thompson and Wiggins comprise an elite nucleus, they might focus on filling niche roles. They could use depth at point guard and on the wing and more shooting, especially in the frontcourt.
Serge Ibaka or Rudy Gay would be a solid get for the frontcourt. Doug McDermott and Danny Green could help with the shooting shortage. Ish Smith might work as a change-of-pace point guard. Friend of the franchise Andre Iguodala could intrigue if the Miami Heat don't pick up his $15 million team option.
But if the Dubs want to dream big, they have the resources to chase the best and brightest on the trade market.
It isn't clear who that will be, but Bradley Beal, Pascal Siakam, CJ McCollum, Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon could all find their way to the rumor mill this offseason. It might cost a fortune to get some of them, but if Golden State senses a championship is on the line, then major sacrifices might be made to chase it.
Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.