Golden State has been mired in mediocrity for several years, but with their off-seasonadditions through the draft and free-agency this just might be the season the Warriors break through and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Golden State may have gotten a steal in taking Harrison Barnes with the 7th overall pick in the NBA Draft. A year ago, Barnes could have been the 1 overall pick but the 6'-8" swing man returned to North Carolina for his sophomore season where he had a solid if not spectacular season, averaging 17 points and 5 rebounds a game. Barnes's stock dipped because "the can't-miss prospect" wasn't as dominant as many expected he would be in his second season at North Carolina.
Barnes fills an immediate need for the Warriors who have been looking for a swing scorer since they unloaded Jason Richardson a few seasons ago. To make room at the small forward spot for Barnes, theWarriorstraded away Dorell Wright, the starter at the position the last twoseasons. Veteran Richard Jefferson could push Barnes for minutes but expect Barnes to be the opening day starter for the retooling Warriors.
The Warriors added point guard Jarrett Jack as part of a three-team deal that brought the veteran over from New Orleans. Jack averaged 15 points and 6 assists last season for the lowly Hornets and he likely would start along side Stephan Curry in Golden State's back court.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson is back for his second season. Last year's first-round draft pick averaged 12 points as he started about half of the 66 games. TheWarriors also retained shooting guard Brandon Rush by signing the back-up guard to a two-year deal. Rush had his best year as a pro, averaging 10 points off the pine for Golden State last season.
Up front the Warriors get their first full-season with Andrew Bogut at center. After spending his first seven years in Milwaukee, the 7-footer wasbroughtover mid-way through last season in a trade for Warriors high scoring guard Monta Ellis. Bogut actually never played for the Warriors last season as he was nursing a bad ankle. Bogut is expected to be ready to go this season and he will help the Warriors' interior defense right away as he averaged 2 blocks a game for the Bucks last season.
The Warriors also bolstered their front court by inking scrappy power forward Carl Landry to a two-year deal. The 6'-8" Landry put up 12 points and 5 rebounds mainly off the bench for the Hornets last year and he will back up starter David Lee.
Golden State used its 30th pick in the draft to take Vanderbilt center Festuz Ezeli who averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks a game in his senior season. The Warriors also added power forward Draymond Green with a second-round pick. The All-American out of Michigan State has a very good shot at making the final roster.
As with many NBA clubs, second-year coach Mark Jackson has the Warriors rebuilding with a good mix of young and veteran players sprinkled in. The Warriors were just 23-43 a season ago, but without question they should be much better this season.