June 20, 2019, 3:33 am
The Warriors came into the season looking to achieve one of the most prestigious feats in the NBA, the three-peat. However, after playing through June for a fifth straight year, the team ran out of gas and lost the championship to Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors in six games. Before losing in the Finals, the Warriors saw Kevin Durant tear his Achilles and Klay Thompson tear his ACL. A very disappointing end to the quest for a three-peat.
2018-19 record: 57-25
2017-18 record: 58-24
The Warriors came into the season with title hopes. They were the traveling juggernaut that every other fanbase would circle on the calendar. This usually led to every opponent giving them their best performance as they wanted to take down the back-to-back champs.
It was apparent from the jump that the team was looking ahead to playoff basketball as they proceeded to lose more games (25) during the regular season than any other iteration of the team had over the last five seasons.
Offense was not the problem during the regular season as they finished with the highest offensive rating out of all 30 teams (115.9). However, in the last two seasons, the Warriors have seen their defensive rating fall outside of the top-10 with this year’s team falling to 13th overall (109.5). The team still had the same core that was able to be a top-6 defensive unit from 2014-15 up through 2016-17 — what they lacked was the regular season motivation.
Let’s take a look at more of the team stats from this past season.
Offensive Rating: 1st
Defensive Rating: 13th
3-Pointers Attempted: 7th
3-Pointers Made: 16th
Total Rebounds: 25th
Free Throws Attempted: 8th
Fan Attendance: 6th
After the grind of the regular season came to an end, the real season could start. The postseason.
The Warriors found themselves playing against a very gritty Clippers team in the first round, who they defeated in six games. The complacency the team showed at times couldn’t have been more evident than in Game 2 of this series when the Warriors blew an NBA playoff record 31-point lead in the second half.
They went on to defeat the Rockets in six and Blazers in four to make the NBA Finals despite losing Kevin Durant midway through Game 5 of the Rockets series due to a right calf strain injury. After sweeping the Blazers, there was absurd media buzz that the Warriors were better without Durant. This quickly got squashed as we all saw what occurred in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors finally found a foe that was worthy of their talents. The Raptors took the Warriors to the brink of elimination as they were up 3 games to 1 before the worst was about to happen. Durant heroically came back before he was 100% healthy to try and help his team win but he tragically tore his Achilles as a result. They did win that game and came back to Oakland for the last game ever at Oracle Arena. The wheels really came off the dynasty in this game as fellow star Thompson tore his ACL during the contest and the Warriors lost.
Will they re-sign Thompson to a five-year max contact as everyone expects? Will they be able to re-sign Durant to a five-year max? How much money will breakout role player Kevon Looney make on the market? Will longtime Warrior Shaun Livingston retire? Will DeMarcus Cousins re-sign? Who will be their starting lineup for opening night next season? Never before during this dynastic run have there been so many questions surrounding what will happen in the offseason.
It might be the end of the dynasty. It might be just a minor step back. There is one thing that is very clear: this is a turning point for what we have come to know as one of the greatest teams in the history of this league. What will happen this offseason will determine whether or not the Warriors can continue to contend for titles.
This season was Steve Kerr’s 5th with the team. He has taken this team to the Finals in each of those year,s finishing with win totals of 67, 73, 67, 58 and 57. That is a as pretty of a resume as you can find for a coach in all major sports. He has a career winning percentage of .785, which is a mark higher than any other coach in the history of the NBA.
Kerr and his staff will have their toughest task yet as they will have to navigate the beginning of next season without both Thompson and Durant. If the Warriors re-sign Thompson to a max contract as many expect, the team will already be over the $109M salary cap, which doesn’t include the potential re-signing of Durant. They will have to fill out the rest of their roster with minimum contracts while trying to keep Looney for under $6M per year.
Expect Stephen Curry to have a significant bump in shot attempts and usage as he will be the primary scorer. Draymond Green will also be leaned on more heavily to start the season as a playmaker to help ease the load that will be put on Curry.
ADP: 9/5 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 9/8 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 5/4 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 69
2018-19 averages: 69 G | 33.8 MP | 27.3 PTS | 5.1 3PM | 5.3 REB | 5.2 AST | 1.3 STL | 0.4 BLK | 2.8 TOV | .472 FG% | .916 FT%
Curry has been able to maintain his fantasy dominance even while sharing the load with fellow fantasy stud Durant. In the two prior seasons before the Warriors acquired Durant, Curry finished as either first or second in all fantasy formats for both per-game and total value. Post Durant, Curry has still finished within the top-5 in per-game value.
Steph had better injury luck than some of his teammates but was still hit by the injury bug. Early in the regular season, he suffered a left adductor strain which forced him to miss 11 games. The only other regular season games that the Chef missed were towards the end of the season and can be attributed to precautionary rest.
In Game 2 of the Rockets series, Curry dislocated his left middle finger (non-shooting hand) but didn’t have to miss any games as a result. He had some incredible performances playing through the injury but it was evident that he was hampered by the finger throughout the rest of the postseason.
Durant and Thompson will both be on the shelf to start the season even if the Warriors are able to retain one or both. This will raise the ceiling on Steph’s fantasy value to something similar to what we saw prior to Durant’s arrival. In the 30 regular season games that Curry has played in without Durant over the past three seasons, Curry has boasted averages of 28.6 points, 5.5 boards, 6.7 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.3 blocks and 3.2 turnovers per game while shooting 47.8% from the field and 89.8% from the stripe.
At 31 years old, Curry is a lock to have another stellar campaign as long as he doesn’t sustain any major injury.
ADP: 6/6 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 5/4 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 8/8 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 78
2018-19 averages: 78 G | 34.6 MP | 26.0 PTS | 1.8 3PM | 6.4 REB | 5.9 AST | 0.7 STL | 1.1 BLK | 2.9 TOV | .521 FG% | .885 FT%
Durant will miss the entirety of the 2019-20 season and will likely return to the court at the start of the 2020-21 season. Which uniform he will be wearing is still up for debate as he has a player option for the upcoming season, of which he is likely to opt out and sign a long-term deal.
KD has firmly cemented himself as one of the greatest scorers of all time. He also displayed a lot of courage and fight by trying to help his team win the championship while not being fully healthy. The torn Achilles that he suffered was the most tragic injury we have seen in a very long time. The NBA landscape won’t be the same without the former MVP and two-time Finals MVP who has led the league in scoring four times while making an All-NBA team in each of the past nine seasons (six 1st team & 3 2nd team).
The fantasy landscape will also greatly miss a player who has been able to deliver consistent, elite production. Since his second season in the league, there has been no player in fantasy basketball as dominant as Durant. He has finished no lower than top-8 in both 8/9 cat leagues as far as per game value. That is truly incredible. Only LeBron James has showed similarly consistent per-game fantasy value over that span.
ADP: 41/29 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 28/22 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 44/30 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 78
2018-19 averages: 78 G | 34.0 MP | 21.5 PTS | 3.1 3PM | 3.8 REB | 2.4 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.6 BLK | 1.5 TOV | .467 FG% | .816 FT%
Another fantastic player. Another horrific injury. That is how the Warriors season unfortunately ended as Thompson tore his ACL in the game that clinched NBA Finals. Like Durant, Thompson showed incredible heart and will by taking and making two free throws even after suffering the knee injury. An estimated timeline of 8-12 months is typical for this injury so we can expect Klay to return in February of 2020 at the earliest.
Klay’s fantasy value took the biggest hit after Durant’s arrival as we saw him fall from 1st/2nd round value in the two seasons prior to his arrival to 3rd/4th round value after. He will not finish anywhere near those values in the upcoming season as he will likely play in less than a quarter of the season (about 20 games).
Thompson heads into this offseason as a free agent and is expected to sign a five-year max contract to stay with the Warriors. The team will struggle to start the season without Klay, who has only missed 24 games over the past seven seasons. That is less than 5% of the games that the team has played over that span.
Whichever team ends up with Thompson will likely not rush him back to the court until he is 100% healthy. When he does return to action, expect much lower production for at least the first ten games as he gets back into game shape.
ADP: 31/31 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 59/74 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 48/58 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 66
2018-19 averages: 66 G | 31.3 MP | 7.4 PTS | 0.7 3PM | 7.3 REB | 6.9 AST | 1.4 STL | 1.1 BLK | 2.6 TOV | .445 FG% | .692 FT%
Green saw his usage fall to a career low of 13.1. Expect this to increase notably, as he will have to take on bigger responsibilities on the offensive end while still being the anchor of the defensive unit with Durant and Thompson out of the picture.
He played in a career-low 66 games on the season as he dealt with various injuries, the most severe being a sprained toe that caused him to miss 13 games. As he ages, expect Green to play in fewer games each year given his aggressive playing style.
The 28-year-old finished the season as a 4th/5th round value in 8/9 cat leagues in per-game value. This was his lowest mark since he became a full-time starter back in 2014-15.
He will have more incentive to perform at a higher level next season as he will be in a contract year and hopes to earn himself max money. With the absence of Thompson and Durant (and their combined 59.6% usage last season) along with his upcoming free agency, expect Green to enter the 2019-20 season with greater expectations. Get ready for a healthy dose of the Curry-Green pick and roll next season.
ADP: 122/110 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 209/211 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 29/34 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 30
2018-19 averages: 30 G | 25.7 MP | 16.3 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 8.2 REB | 3.6 AST | 1.3 STL | 1.5 BLK | 2.4 TOV | .480 FG% | .736 FT%
Cousins surprised the NBA last offseason as he decided to sign a one-year deal with the Warriors, passing up two years and $40 million from the Pelicans. He missed a combined 96 games over the last two seasons. Teams were able to expose his lack of quickness by running the pick-and-roll against him.
Boogie did see his numbers increase as the season wore on. In 16 of his final 17 games of the regular season (excluding one blowout in which he only played 11 minutes) Cousins averaged 19.0 points and 9.9 boards while the other stats were close to his season averages.
Cousins was able to stay healthy after returning to the court from the torn Achilles but he once again injured himself when the playoffs began. He was able to get one full playoff game under his belt before injuring his quad in the first quarter of Game 2 against the Clippers. The injury caused him to miss 14 games and upon his return, he didn’t impress. Looney had supplanted Cousins as the best center for the Warriors by the end of the postseason.
DMC will see a significant bump in value if he is able to stay healthy over the course of an entire season. If health is on his side, Cousins will likely produce somewhere between last season’s per-game value (3rd round) and the per-game value (2nd round) fantasy owners saw prior to his torn Achilles. Remember that a healthy season from Cousins will likely have more games missed than the average player as a torn Achilles is one of the most difficult injuries to recover from, especially for a hulking center.
He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and it is unclear whether or not the Warriors want to retain his services. Stay tuned this summer to see where Boogie will play in 2019-20.
ADP: 137/129 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 160/142 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 179/153 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 68
2018-19 averages: 68 G | 23.2 MP | 5.7 PTS | 0.7 3PM | 3.7 REB | 3.2 AST | 0.9 STL | 0.8 BLK | 0.8 TOV | .500 FG% | .582 FT%
Iguodala’s value for the Warriors has always been greatest when they reach the postseason. He has defended some of the greatest forwards in the playoffs over their dynastic run including LeBron James, Kevin Durant (OKC), Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
However, in the regular season, father time has caught up with the 35-year-old, who would be rested on certain nights to prevent injuries. Even with playing in only 68 regular season games, Iguodala was still hit by an injury in the postseason. He was hampered by a leg injury throughout the playoffs even though it only caused him to miss one game.
He had career-lows or near-career-lows in every fantasy category outside of field goal percentage. Even when Iguodala was inserted in the starting lineup, his averages didn’t increase. In 13 regular season starts, he averaged 4.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 turnovers while shooting 47% from the field and 75% from the line.
With the injuries the Warriors suffered, Iguodala might see a slight bump in his production. However, at 35 and with leg injury concerns, don’t expect Iguodala to increase his value by more than one round, if that.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 156/139 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 214/195 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 80
2018-19 averages: 80 G | 18.5 MP | 6.3 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 5.2 REB | 1.5 AST | 0.6 STL | 0.7 BLK | 0.6 TOV | .625 FG% | .619 FT%
Looney started the season backing up Damian Jones at the center position. Although he didn’t start the season as a starter, Looney proved to be the best option for the Warriors in crucial opportunities both in the regular season and in the playoffs.
After Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle on December 1, Looney became the Warriors’ starting center. He started in 20 of the next 21 games prior to Cousins’ return in mid-January. In those 20 games, Looney posted averages of 7.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 turnovers while shooting 65.2% from the field and 47.7% from the free throw line.
In the playoffs, Looney played a pivotal role for the team until he suffered a chest injury — later revealed to be a fracture in his costal cartilage — in Game 2 of the Finals. He surprised everyone by only missing one game. When he returned to the court, it was clear that he was dealing with significant pain as he grimaced whenever he was taking contact. In similar fashion to both Durant and Thompson, Looney proved that he will do whatever it takes to help his team win. Every franchise wants this type of player.
In October of 2017, the Warriors decided not to pick up Looney’s $2.2M option. In hindsight, that was probably not the best decision as the Warriors will want to keep the UCLA product heading into next season. They will likely offer Looney somewhere between $5M-$6M per year.
If he does return to the Warriors, it is likely that he begins the season as the starting center and will definitely be an integral part of their rotation. This is a player to keep an eye on in drafts as he has increased his production in each of his first four seasons. With the team depleted of talent outside of Curry, Green and Iguodala, expect Looney to be given plenty of opportunity which will allow him to enter the conversation of fantasy-relevant players across all leagues and formats — assuming he re-ups with Golden State.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 299/293 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 390/376 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 72
2018-19 averages: 72 G | 13.9 MP | 4.7 PTS | 0.6 3PM | 3.4 REB | 0.4 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.2 BLK | 0.4 TOV | .487 FG% | .563 FT%
McKinnie has had a much tougher road to the NBA than most players. After being undrafted in 2015, he played professionally in Luxembourg and Mexico. He came back over to the states in 2016 by paying $175 to try-out for the Bulls G-League affiliate. He made the Windy City Bulls roster and played out the season there. He was signed by the Raptors in 2017 where he played for both the big-league club as well as their G-League affiliate. In 2018 he signed with the Warriors and was able to make the opening day roster after Patrick McCaw couldn’t work out a deal with the team.
In his first season with the Warriors, McKinnie showed the ability to rebound the ball very well for his position as well as potential as a low-end 3-and-D wing. He has one more year on his current contract. The team will be in need of scoring to start the season, so expect McKinnie to be given opportunity to raise his fantasy ceiling. If he is able to become a more efficient 3-point shooter, his value will rise even further.
Don’t expect McKinnie to enter standard-league relevance, but he may have appeal in deep leagues and will have appeal in DFS lineups on certain nights depending on his price tag.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 353/344 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 227/210 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 24
2018-19 averages: 24 G | 17.1 MP | 5.4 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 3.1 REB | 1.2 AST | 0.5 STL | 1.0 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .716 FG% | .649 FT%
Jones started the season as the starting center for the Warriors but never saw more playing time than he did on opening night (26 min). Perhaps the Warriors deployed Jones over Looney because they thought that Jones would have an easier time playing with the starters.
It was clear early on in the season that Looney was the best big man out of the two youngsters and Jones will be behind Looney on the depth chart to start next season.
He looked rusty upon his return from a torn pectoral muscle, which may have looked worse as they were competing against some of the best teams in the league deep into the playoffs. He only saw eight minutes of action over four games.
With a full offseason to recover from the injury and improve upon his game, Jones will have to prove himself in order to become a part of this rotation. Don’t expect Jones to have fantasy value outside of 30-team leagues or as a blocks streamer.
ADP: 116/113 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 290/282 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 363/354 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 68
2018-19 averages: 68 G | 11.6 MP | 3.3 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 2.7 REB | 1.1 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.8 BLK | 0.6 TOV | .516 FG% | .610 FT%
Bell was hyped heading into his second season as many believed he would cement himself as a key part of the Warriors rotation. This couldn’t have been further from the truth as Bell’s averages fell below those from his rookie year and he found himself buried in the center rotation.
He has big play potential but lacks the consistency needed in order to be a part of an NBA rotation. He may have been humbled by the “sophomore slump.” If he works hard this offseason to improve his footwork and gets better at knowing where he needs to be on the court at any given time, Bell may have a chance to get closer to the hype that was out there prior to this past season.
He is a restricted free agent this offseason and with the Warriors hamstrung financially, they are likely to bring him back if the number is close to the league minimum. We’ll have to keep our eyes on the Warriors big man rotation this offseason to see where Bell ends up.
ADP: 140/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 284/272 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 334/324 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 64
2018-19 averages: 64 G | 15.1 MP | 4.0 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 1.8 REB | 1.8 AST | 0.5 STL | 0.4 BLK | 0.6 TOV | .519 FG% | .784 FT%
Livingston has had an excellent career even though it was completely altered after a devastating leg injury he suffered in his early years. He joined the Warriors before the 2014-15 season where he was able to play a big role in helping them win three championships in five seasons.
Although he played a valuable role within the team’s rotation, Livingston has shown no fantasy value outside of 30-team leagues in the past three seasons.
There has been a lot of speculation that he will hang it up this offseason. It would be very surprising if he came back to play another season as he has alluded to retirement many times throughout the course of the year. Don’t be surprised if Livingston returns to the Warriors a few years down the road in a front office or coaching role.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 261/255 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 332/332 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 74
2018-19 averages: 74 G | 14.3 MP | 6.9 PTS | 1.1 3PM | 2.1 REB | 1.6 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.0 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .465 FG% | .769 FT%
Cook joined the Warriors on a two-way contact during the 2017-18 season. In April of that season, the Warriors signed him to a two-year contract. He has shown potential as a scorer in this league who won’t add much of anything else outside of threes.
When Curry has gotten hurt, Cook gets the opportunity to start. In 28 starts over the last two seasons, Cook has averaged 13.6 points and 2.1 threes in over 31 mpg. We can use these numbers as a ceiling for Cook’s fantasy value.
Although Cook doesn’t have a very high ceiling given his limited stat set, he could be an interesting guy to keep an eye on as the Warriors guard rotation has never been thinner. He is a restricted free agent this offseason so look for the Warriors to bring him back as long as he doesn’t get paid more than the minimum by another franchise.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 224/204 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 280/261 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 73
2018-19 averages: 73 G | 16.7 MP | 6.3 PTS | 0.9 3PM | 3.9 REB | 1.3 AST | 0.4 STL | 0.2 BLK | 0.6 TOV | .459 FG% | .800 FT%
Jerebko underwhelmed the Warriors as he struggled to stay on the court when the Warriors were in need of versatile wings who could score in the playoffs. He came to the team on a veteran’s minimum and will likely not be back next season.
Jerebko’s best fantasy season came in his rookie year where he was a fringe asset in 14-team leagues. At 31 years old, it is safe to say that Jerebko will be a fringe asset in only the deepest of fantasy leagues whether on the Warriors or another team.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 444/448 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 491/491 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 30
2018-19 averages: 30 G | 6.8 MP | 1.3 PTS | 0.1 3PM | 0.8 REB | 0.8 AST | 0.2 STL | 0.1 BLK | 0.4 TOV | .340 FG% | .000 FT%
The University of Cincinnati product was touted as someone who would be able to step into the NBA right away and help a team as a 3-and-D wing. Anyone who watched Evans play in a game was able to see that he was not ready. He is off of fantasy radars until he proves that he belongs on this level.
In the penultimate game of the season, Evans was given the opportunity to start his first NBA game, where he scored 11 points on 50% shooting with five boards, two assists, three steals, two blocks and three turnovers while knocking down one trey. He did all of this in 36 minutes of action. Although this happened in the crazy time of the NBA season, it is encouraging to see that there is hope for the 22-year-old.
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 421/415 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 287/275 (8/9-cat) | Games Played: 11
2018-19 averages: 11 G | 12.2 MP | 3.5 PTS | 0.0 3PM | 5.0 REB | 1.0 AST | 0.3 STL | 0.7 BLK | 0.7 TOV | .500 FG% | 1.000 FT%
The Warriors welcomed back the Aussie towards the end of the NBA season after he finished the season in the Australian league. He was able to take home both MVP honors as well as the Best Defensive Player honors in the NBL.
His fantasy relevance is a thing of the past as it has been reported that Bogut will likely return to the NBL for next season. However, when that season ends, Bogut may return to the Warriors or another franchise looking to make a run at the Finals. Even if he does return to the NBA next season, Bogut won’t log more than 15 minutes in any given game. This relegates him to a fringe-asset in only the deepest of leagues once he shows up.
It will be important for the Warriors to stay relevant next season as they move across the bay from Oakland to San Francisco. They are hoping to sell out games in the new state-of-the-art Chase Center. It won’t be as easy as it was when they featured 4 All-Stars, though they’ll still be a very hot ticket.
The Warriors will have the 28th and 58th picks in the 2019 draft and will be looking to add prospects who can contribute immediately. Outside of the draft, the Warriors’ number one focus will be on re-signing Thompson and Durant. After attempting to re-sign the two stars, the Warriors will look to retain Looney as he proved that he can be a starting center in this league.
If they are able to re-sign one or both of the stars, they will be strapped for cash. General Manager Bob Myers will have his work cut out for him in finding minimum guys who can help the team eat up minutes and win ball games. It will be difficult but Meyers has a good track record of building out a roster centered around stars.
There are myriad questions that will be answered in the coming months. Luckily, they can hang their hat on the fact that they still have one of the best offensive players in the league in Curry to pair with a defensive anchor in Green. If they can stay above water in the vaunted West while Thompson recovers from his torn ACL, they will be in position to make the playoffs for the eighth straight season. This is the first offseason in a while where it would be plausible for Golden State to finish outside of the playoffs, and the offseason moves will determine their future for the next few years.