Where Does Golden State Go From Here?

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Just five months after Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered severe injuries in the 2019 NBA Finals that would sideline them for the upcoming season, culminating in a Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors, two time NBA MVP and the face of the Golden State Warriors franchise suffered a broken left hand in Wednesday nights game vs. the Phoenix Suns.

The Warriors have gotten off to a rocky start in large part due to Klay Thompson’s absence (torn ACL) and Kevin Durant’s departure to the Brooklyn Nets to team up with superstar point guard Kyrie Irving. Golden State’s GM, Bob Myers was able to negotiate a sign and trade for former Nets guard, D’Angelo Russell during the offseason in an attempt to keep the team afloat with Klay Thomspon sidelined for the entire 2019-2020 season.

Russell had a breakout season with the Brooklyn Nets last year averaging 21 points per game along with 7 assists. Despite signing the first time all-star in the offseason, Golden State as a team has underperformed to this point. They suffered blowout losses to the new-look LA Clippers, led by Kawhi ‘Fun Guy‘ Leonard, and the rebuilding Phoenix Suns.

This Golden State Warriors roster isn’t what it used to be. The front office has replaced veterans Shaun Livingston (retired) and Andre Iguodala (traded to the Memphis Grizzlies) who were both parts of the team during their five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and the infamous 73-9 team that claimed the throne as the most dominant regular-season team of all time, with younger talent.

New additions to their roster include former Kings center, Willie Cauley-Stein (26), former Sun’s forward Marquese Chriss (22), and rookie shooting guard from Michigan, Jordan Poole (20). Although Golden State has rounded out their roster with a multitude of young players with potential, it’s safe to say that they have lost some of their championship DNA. With a current record of 1-3, they sit near the bottom of the Western Conference.

Now that Steph Curry will miss a substantial amount of time and join his splash bro Klay Thomspon on the inactive list, where do the Golden State Warriors go from here? According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors are ‘scoffing,’ at the possibility of tanking this season, at least for now.

“It’s against everything I, and we stand for,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob commented to Ramona Shelburne following Wednesday’s embarrassing defeat to the Phoenix Suns.

In a loaded Western Conference, this Warriors team was struggling with Steph Curry on the floor so it’s plausible to suggest they will certainly struggle even more so without him. Tanking this season could land the Warriors a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft that they could pair with splash brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson next season.

Top prospects like James Wiseman, Lamelo Ball, Cole Anthony, Devon Dotson, Tre Jones, and Cassius Winston are all likely to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft and could add to the Warrior’s depth now, while simultaneously preserving their future.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein via Bleacher Report, exploring possible trades D’Angelo Russell around the trade deadline is also a possibility. Stein claims the Warriors signed him with the intention of trading him in the future.

One thing the Golden State Warriors dynasty has lacked is challenges. When Kevin Durant decided to join the Warriors in the 2016 offseason, it was a forgone conclusion that the Warriors would be favorites to win the title year in and year out barring any unforeseen changes. They made winning look relatively easy squashing LeBron James, and the Cavaliers in back to back NBA Finals. With the departure of KD and mounting injuries, the Warriors are being tested as every dynasty has. Will these trials and tribulations mark the end of the Warriors reign on the NBA or will they be overcome and add to the greatness of the Golden State Warriors electrifying dynasty. Only time will tell.