The Warriors Need a Major Overhaul

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Draymond Green finally returned to the floor for the Golden State Warriors on Monday after missing 16 games following his suspension for striking Jusuf Nurkić in the face.

It didn’t matter.

The Warriors endured yet another humbling defeat—their fourth in five games—at the hands of a decimated Memphis Grizzlies team. The Grizz were without Ja Morant, Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane, and still beat a theoretically desperate Golden State squad. It was simply the latest in a string of baffling losses for the Warriors, who recently dropped home contests to the under-.500 Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Pelicans, the latter of which was a 36-point defeat. As Golden State continues to lose ground in the West, at what point will the front office say enough is enough?

Green’s return to the lineup wasn’t enough to spark the struggling Warriors to a win against a decimated Grizzlies team. 

Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of Green’s suspension, Dubs general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said Dec. 14, as it relates to decisions on the roster, “The bigger impact will be how we do the next 15 to 20 games. That’ll determine where we go more than this specific incident.”

In the 17 games since their GM’s declaration, the Warriors are 8–9. Six of those wins have come against teams with a losing record, including tank squads such as the Detroit Pistons and the Portland Trail Blazers. Since Dec. 14, Golden State has a net rating of minus-3.2, 11th worst in the NBA. Outside of an overtime win against the Celtics, there have not been many encouraging signs over the last month. During a seven-game homestand from Dec. 28 to Jan. 10, the Warriors had a chance to begin turning things around. Instead they went 2–7, including losses to the Dallas Mavericks without Kyrie Irving and the Miami Heat without Jimmy Butler.

Simply put, it hasn’t been good enough. It’s not that these games were easy. But they were wins the Warriors needed to have if they want to be taken seriously as a playoff team let alone a contender. After the loss to Memphis, the Dubs currently sit at 12th in the West, meaning they have a significant climb to make just to get into the play-in tournament.

Dunleavy should have more than enough evidence at this point that the current construction of this team isn’t working. And every option needs to be considered. Is Steve Kerr still getting through to this team, or are the years he spent in the trenches with his veterans clouding his rotation decisions? How much longer can the team afford to keep Andrew Wiggins as he fails to recapture the form that made him a vital part of the 2022 championship run? Will Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody ever get defined, consistent roles on the team, or will they continue to bump up against the vets? Can the front office afford to be sentimental about Klay Thompson?

These are difficult questions for a proud franchise with four titles, but there’s mounting evidence that the status quo won’t cut it. Thompson has been inconsistent. Wiggins and Kuminga can’t play together. Moody doesn’t play enough. Green’s return should help over the course of time. But it didn’t make enough of a difference against a wounded team Monday. And Dunleavy himself said that won’t be the deciding factor on how to fix this team.

If Stephen Curry were in decline, then maybe none of this would matter. The Warriors could ride out the fumes of their dynasty with an aging core, and give their Big Three an extended victory lap. The problem is Curry is still great. He can still be the best player on a championship team. There are no indications his play is regressing the same way as some of his castmates. And that demands action. Especially when much of the top of the West—while talented—is also inexperienced.

The clock is firmly ticking on the front office at this point. Dunleavy should have enough of the representative sample he wanted to determine this team’s future. How much more can he watch before he decides the Warriors aren’t going anywhere if they don’t undergo a significant overhaul? Even with Draymond Green back in the lineup, Golden State has a ways to go.


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