Several teams around the league underwent drastic makeovers this summer, with more superstar movement during free agency than we’ve ever seen in the modern era. One of the byproducts is how it has shifted the balance of power away from the familiar juggernauts of the past few seasons and cleared a path for fledgling contenders in both conferences.
The Warriors were one of the hardest hit. Losing Kevin Durant to Brooklyn was hard enough, but that got compounded with the Klay Thompson injury that will cost him at least half of the season, along with Shaun Livingston’s retirement and Andre Iguodala’s departure.
They managed to shore up their depth chart by adding D’Angelo Russell, Willie Cauley-Stein, and others to the mix, but with them comes a host of challenges in terms of integrating them into the Warriors’ culture and familiarizing them with how the team and the organization as a whole approach the game.
Draymond Green is acutely aware of these new challenges, as he told ESPN’s Nick Friedell this week, and he’s seizing the opportunity to impart his wisdom and experience to the team’s new acquisitions as they work to get acclimated.
“Just the lack of familiarity,” Green said. “You get used to a certain thing for so long, and then it’s not that. The normal reads that you would make, just kind of second nature, you got to make sure they’re there. It’s just a lot more making sure everyone’s on the same page, or getting there. Everybody’s not on the same page, which is to be expected, so just getting everybody there is the difference.”
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding their future, the Warriors are still loaded with talent and could end up being one of the more dangerous teams in the West, depending on when Klay is able to return and how well Russell is able to integrate himself into their schemes.
Even with all the upheaval, Golden State refuses to let you write them off just yet, but in order to maintain their status as one of the premier contenders, they’ll have to start building that chemistry now so that all the new pieces can coalesce when it matters most.