Bob Myers and Steve Kerr

A Different Process: How the Golden State Warriors Re-Built their Championship Roster

The Golden State Warriors once again are one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Sitting at 23-5 the Warriors are sitting as the 1st seed in the western conference, sitting only 0.5 games above the Phoenix Suns who are in second right now. They are 8-2 in the last 10 games. They score the 3rd most points per game at 111.8 points per game and allow the lowest defensive points per game at 100.2 going into Wednesday night.

 However today we are not just talking about the warriors and their current record. Instead, today we will be talking about how they were able to build their current roster that is now 1st in the Western conference. With that being said let’s dive in to how this roster was made… 

Point Guard: Stephen Curry, 6’2, 185 lbs, Davidson 

The all-star point guard was drafted by the Warriors with the 7th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Curry was the 1st piece towards their title contending team. When the Warriors drafted Curry, it was the beginning of the Warriors rise and run to dominance in the future. Although it took the Warriors six seasons before they won their first title with Curry in 2015. It also took them a few coaches as well. With his 12 years of experience (all of them on the Warriors) Curry is the longest tenured player on the team and their most important one.

Shooting Guard: Jordan Poole, 6’4, 194 lbs, Michigan 

Poole was selected 28th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, after the warriors 5th strait run to the NBA finals winning 3 titles in 5 years. Although he hasn’t been a part of their recent title runs Poole is now becoming an important piece of the Warriors playoff hopes going forward. The Combo Guard can play either Guard position and can score with ease. For now he’s starting in place of Klay Thompson, but as soon as Thompson returns, he may be coming off the bench and will become their 6th man. His scoring ability will come in handy to take the offensive pressure off of Stephen Curry.

Small Forward: Andrew Wiggins, 6’7, 197 lbs, Kansas

Acquired from the D’Angelo Russell Trade in November 2020, Wiggins has quietly become the new Harrison Barnes for the Warriors. This is in terms of being their two-way wing that can score as well as defend. His ability to play on both ends of the floor is such an important fit for the Warriors. He helps them in more ways than one. He’s simply their best perimeter defender (with Draymond Green guarding big men) as well as still holding his own on offense. It does help to play with Curry. However even with that in mind, he was a pretty good offensive player back on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Power Forward: Draymond Green, 6’6, 230 lbs, Michigan State

As the 35th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, Draymond Green has done very well for himself. As a 2nd round pick Green’s intangibles are still underrated to this day. His ability to guard basically all 5 positions is pretty essential for the Warriors and their defensive scheme under Steve Kerr (and Mark Jackson before that). Green is hands down their best defensive player because of his defensive IQ, versatility and more. He’s also their best playmaker and passer for the Warriors, as his ability to make plays for others frees Curry to not always have the ball in his hands and to instead look for his own shot, as he knows Green will get him the ball in the right spots. 

Center: Kevon Looney, 6’9, 222 lbs, UCLA

The 30th overall pick of the Warriors in 2015, Looney knows how to play his role and doesn’t try to play outside that. He’s also pretty good defensively and is one of the reasons why the Warriors are having a good defensive season. He’s pretty good in defending in space, good at guarding in switches and can guard most big men decently. He also knows his role offensively, knowing how to set the proper screens for Curry and the rest of the Warrior shooters.

Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson (injured), 6’6, 220 lbs, Washington State

The 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, we know Thompson’s impact through his career with the Warriors. After suffering a Torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals, then tearing his Achilles in the next season, Thompson is on a long road to recovery. Hopefully we don’t see a setback before his supposed return later on this year. When healthy, Thompson provides great shooting as well as amazing perimeter defense. He’s in the mold of a typical 3 and D type player but as a more potent and dangerous shooter. With him and Curry on the court together. They cause enough problems for many opposing defenses. 

Center: James Wiseman (injured) 7’0, 240 lbs, Memphis 

The 2nd overall pick of the 2020 Draft, Wiseman still has tons of potential to be an amazing player for the Warriors in the future. All he needs to do now is to stay healthy and develop. Whenever he’ll get the chance to do so is all up to him now. Can he do it? We will see. Fortunately for the Warriors, they don’t really need him to be amazing right now, due to the talent elsewhere on the roster. Still if he can give them 15-20 minutes of good two way play, it only makes them more dangerous and deadly as a team.

Small Forward: Damion Lee, 6’5, 210 lbs, Louisville

Lee, who went undrafted in 2016, didn’t really get to start his career until he played for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2017-18 NBA season. In that season he played 15 games for them. Following that season he then signed with Warriors, where he spent the majority of his career at this point. It took a while but he does have some of the qualities of a 3 and D player, who can guard multiple positions and shoot 3 pointers well. He knows his role and doesn’t try to play outside that role for the Warriors.

Small Forward: Andre Iguodala, 6’6, 215 lbs, Arizona

In his 2nd stint with the Warriors, Iguodala is now more of a veteran presence on the team. He’s not the player he was on his 1st stint on the Warriors, but can still be a key piece for them come playoff time. Resigning with the Warriors after spending a few years with the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies, Iguodala knows the Warriors system well and can help them on both ends of the floor in stretches. He’s also in the mold of a 3 and D player and can guard multiple positions as well. More importantly he knows the team system on both offense and defense, due to his familiarity with Kerr and the Warriors from his 1st stint with the team (from 2014 to 2019).

Center: Nemanja Bjelica, 6’9, 234 lbs, Serbia

Signing with Warriors after playing for the Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat last year, Bjelica is another key piece the Warriors can use for their team. He’s a sharpshooting big man with the ability to space the floor for Curry and the rest of the Warriors players. For now he backs up Green and Looney and gives the Warriors another shooter at either the Power Forward or Center spots for them. 

Power Forward: Otto Porter Jr, 6’8, 198 lbs, Georgetown

Another free agent signing, Porter Jr is another guy that can offer deadly shooting for the Warriors. Porter Jr is also another 3 and D wing who in theory can play up to 3-4 positions for the Warriors on both ends, as long as he can stay healthy. Health is his big issue though, but I don’t think the Warriors may use him much as long as most of the roster is healthy.

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Power Forward: Juan Toscano-Anderson, 6’6, 209 lbs, Marquette

Someone who initially was called up from the G-League in the middle of the 2020-21 season, Toscano-Anderson  is another guy with 3 and D potential. However unlike the other 3 and D wings on the roster, he is athletic enough to guard 3-4 positions. Toscano-Anderson has the tools to be a solid role player. He actually has a similar style to the likes of Draymond Green, in terms of the intangibles and defensive versatility, etc. Toscano-Anderson still has some work to do but at least he knows his role and doesn’t try to go outside of that role.

Point Guard: Gary Payton II, 6’3, 195 lbs, Oregon State

Originally a two way contact player, Payton II not only worked his way on the main roster, but earned himself a minimum NBA contract, plus has been getting decent play time as well. He has some surprisingly good games with the minutes he has been getting, making an impact on both ends, primarily on defense. Just like his Hall of Fame dad, his calling card is on defense. He can give you a decent amount of minutes on that end to bother some of the dangerous scorers in the league on the perimeter.

Small Forward: Jonathan Kuminga, 6’8, 222 lbs, G-league Ignite

As the 7th overall pick, Kuminga has potential to be a impact player for the future for the Warriors. With the right development, he could be the future of what the Warriors could be beyond the Curry, Thompson and Green era. For now though, Kuminga can develop into the player he can be, while playing a small role for the Warriors. He also has potential to be a coveted, highly-athletic 3-and-D player.

Shooting Guard: Moses Moody, 6’5, 211 lbs, Arkansas

As the 14th overall pick, Moody is another 3 and D type wing that has potential as a young prospect. He hasn’t played much due to the depth at his position, but has played a few games. Therefore if needed Moody can step in and play for them for a bit. He also has potential to be a part of the Warriors future but we’ll have to see how he grows as a player.

Point Guard: Chris Chozza (Two-Way), 5’11, 175 lbs, Florida

Signed on a two way deal, Chozza is a young NBA veteran that provides back up insurance for any time that Stephen Curry may have to miss. 

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Point Guard: Jeff Dowtin (Two-Way), 6’3, 177 lbs, Rhode Island

Signed on a two way deal, Dowtin is another young guard who may spend most of his time in the G-League. However he can be insurance in case anything happens to Curry.

The Warriors have come a long way since Kevin Durant left them in 2019, for the Brooklyn Nets. They were able to retool, using the draft and free agency for the most part. Now they have a young, sharpshooting and athletic roster around Curry, Thompson and Green. Let’s see how far they can go from here.

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Born and Raised in the Greater NYC Area. Long time New York Knicks fan as well as a Huge NBA fan since 2006. You can follow him on twitter at @KyosotaComics.

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