4 KEYS TO THE WARRIORS’ OFFSEASON APPROACH AFTER WINNING THEIR FOURTH NBA CHAMPIONSHIP IN EIGHT YEARS
Long before dousing each other with champagne in the midst of championship euphoria, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr shared a few of their doubts about whether that could even happen.
“I don’t know if this is a championship team,” Kerr told Myers before the NBA playoffs began.
Forget the various NBA pundits who questioned the Warriors’ ability to win their fourth NBA championship in eight years. Despite overlapping injuries to their stars (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green) and mixed progress with the core’s young players, Kerr predicted the Warriors would be “a conference finalist, maybe not further than that.”
“We were both laughing about it. ‘Well, what do we know?’ we said. Myers stated that they had now proven themselves incorrect. “I guess we had a pretty high bar for what we were comparing it to.”
That’s because the Warriors couldn’t rely on Kevin Durant to carry them to an NBA championship, as he had done twice in three straight Finals appearances (2017-19). However, unlike the pre-playoff discussion about potential, the franchise now appears more confident after winning its first NBA title since Durant’s free-agent departure (2019).
“In my experience, winning a championship makes you better the following year,” Kerr said. “If you keep going after that, you start to tire.” That third year, we were attempting a three-peat.
This presents the Warriors with a “high-class problem,” according to Myers. Only one week after defeating the Boston Celtics in a deciding Game 6, the Warriors must make decisions that will determine whether or not they can keep the championship train rolling.
When the 2022 NBA Draft begins on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN), the Warriors will be looking for dependable young talent with their three draft picks at Nos. 28, 51, and 55.
Will the Warriors agree to early contract extensions for two players who helped them reclaim their title (Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole)? Will they keep Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II, and Andre Iguodala as free agents?
Can the Warriors find a suitable replacement for Kerr’s coaching staff now that lead assistant coach Mike Brown has left to coach the Kings in Sacramento?
Can the Warriors rely on their star trio while also developing young talent (James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody)?