Warriors land at No. 7 in NBA.com's 2021 Western Conference offseason power rankings
With training camp quickly approaching before opening night, teams around the NBA are putting a bow on the 2021 offseason. After back-to-back losses in the Western Conference play-in game, the Golden State Warriors were tasked with building a roster that could make a run back to the postseason.
After adding Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody in the 2021 NBA draft, the Warriors turned their attention to the veteran market. Golden State signed proven veterans like Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica and Andre Iguodala.
Despite veteran additions and new rookies on the roster, Golden State’s most significant question mark lands at James Wiseman, per Schuhmann. The 2020 No. 2 overall pick averaged 11.5 points on 51.9% shooting from the field with 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 21.4 minutes per game. However, his rookie campaign was limited to 39 games after a knee injury.
The roster additions, along with the (eventual) return of Thompson and the emergence of Juan Toscano-Anderson, should give the Warriors more small-ball options. Without Thompson, they outscored their opponents by 8.2 points per 100 possessions in 871 minutes with Green at the five last season. But that was just 44% of Green’s total minutes, and at 6-6 and 31 years old, he obviously can’t be a full-time center. Kevon Looney remains solid and Nemanja Bjelica can play some at the five, but it would be nice if Wiseman wasn’t the plus-minus sinkhole that he was as a rookie. His on-off differential — the Warriors were 13.5 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the floor (-8.8) than they were with him off the floor (+4.7) — was the worst among 363 players who played at least 500 minutes for a single team.
Interestingly, the differential was much bigger on offense (10.9 per 100) than it was on defense (2.6), where Wiseman ranked dead last in deflections per 36 minutes. The 75.4% he shot in the restricted area was the best mark for a rookie with at least 150 restricted-area attempts in the 25 years for which we have shot-location data, but there wasn’t much beyond the finishing at the rim. Of course, it’s asking a lot of a rookie (who played just three college games) to get on the same page as Curry and Green, who run a nightly clinic on offensive improvisation. Year 2 will another chance to catch up.
The defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns sat at No. 1 on the power rankings board with LeBron James and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers resting at No. 2.
The Warriors were slotted one position behind the Denver Nuggets at No. 6 and one spot ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 7. The Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves rounded out the top 10 behind Golden State and Portland.
View NBA.com’s complete list of power rankings here.