The Golden State Warriors’ dynastic run continued in 2022 as the franchise captured its fourth NBA title in a span of eight years.
Captivating as Golden State’s run has been, the age of its stars looms large as Finals MVP Stephen Curry turns 35 next season, while both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson celebrate their 33 years in 2023.
Father Time remains undefeated, so surely this Warriors run is close to over, right? Not quite.
Maybe it’s because it seemed like more than two years, but Golden State’s postseason hiatus could be exactly what was needed to keep the train rolling as Curry, Green and Thompson reach the later stages of their respective careers. Even with five key free agents leaving in the 2022 offseason, this Warriors team boasts the kind of depth that will pay dividends both now and in the future.
MORE: How will Golden State replace key pieces lost in free agency?
It starts with having written well.
Golden State has done the majority of their in-house work, with local talent leading the way on multiple fronts. While the aforementioned trio was drafted by the Warriors over a decade ago, there is a new group that has been brought in in recent years:
- Kevin Looney, 26
- Jordan Poole, 23
- James Wisemann, 21
- Moses Moody, 20
- Jonathan Kuminga, 19
- Patrick Baldwin Jr., 19
In addition to the six players the Warriors drafted, they have also enjoyed the evolution of 27-year-old Andrew Wiggins and are looking to make the most of 25-year-old Donte DiVincenzo, who was added in free agency.
If you’re keeping track, that’s eight players under the age of 30 the Warriors look to rely on in the coming years, but it’s not as simple as these players being able to contribute on the principle of being young. Some of them have their work cut out.
The intriguing portion of the former group is split evenly between veterans and young players who have yet to prove themselves in the league. At this point, we know what DiVincenzo, Looney and Wiggins are capable of, while Poole’s rise to his potential has already begun.
Looking at Poole’s leap last season, there should be reason for optimism that the next generation of Wiseman, Moody, Kuminga and Baldwin can follow a similar path in their own way. The 2022 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is a chance to see it all in action.
Wiseman and Kuminga, in particular, have terrifying potential as future stars in this league.
Golden State’s player development staff is no joke, as evidenced by what they’ve done for the franchise’s local talent. Steve Kerr’s ability to retain assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, a well-known developer of young talent, is a big part of the team’s run for much longer.
While Poole was able to grow with stints in the G League and playing for a Warriors team that lives off the lottery, Kuminga, Moody and Wiseman each have a championship to their name and will be able to thrive playing high-level basketball well into the postseason. .
The number of reps may be less, but the fact that there is more at stake at those times means that the development can have the same amount of value. Their familiarity with that level of intensity allows them to bring a different level of competition to scenarios like Summer League or even late game minutes in games that have been decided long ago.
Summer League Warriors Updates
-James Wiseman played 5 against 5 yesterday. Light work today. Warriors who alternate heavy and light days. Responding well. Still on track to show up at some point in Vegas.
-Jonathan Kuminga joined the team in Las Vegas today. Expert. Debut to be determined.
—Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 6, 2022
Wiseman’s potential to be an impactful big man who does it all is why he was the No. 2 pick in the draft. We have no idea what he Will be, but what he they can become is a star. That Golden State was able to win a title without him shouldn’t be an indictment of Wiseman, but rather another positive reminder that the franchise is taking the right approach with his recovery from knee injury as a big man.
MORE: The latest on James Wiseman’s status for the Summer League
The star potential also applies to Kuminga, who, at 19, contributed when he was called up during the Warriors’ title run. Kuminga showed his star potential with G League Ignite and, because he is so young, he is quite capable of making a big leap just by getting older.
💥 Jonathan Kuminga explodes for SLAM on TNT! pic.twitter.com/qWXNH4H2Sw
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2022
Moody was the 14th pick in 2021 and got the full rookie experience in 2021-22 — racking up 11 starts, but even more DNP. He scored a career-high 30 points, but the core of the team didn’t even make the trip. Ups and downs aside, Moody showed glimpses of why he was selected in the lottery draft.
Moses Moody has a personal best of 25 PTS for the @Warriors And it’s only the third quarter!
🏀 25 points | 5 3 pm
Early Third Quarter on NBA TV pic.twitter.com/xtH5hFUf97
— NBA (@NBA) March 8, 2022
As for Baldwin, a late first-round pick in 2022, he was the perfect low-risk, high-reward pick for the Warriors. Baldwin is just a year away from being a top-five recruit, and while he was underwhelming during his only season at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he’s in the perfect place to work toward his elite potential without the pressure that comes from being in a difficult situation. of reconstruction. .
When you step back to look at the big picture, Golden State has a rotation of players to build its future on, each learning from the examples of Curry, Green and Thompson on a daily basis. And even though the Warriors’ OG trio isn’t as young as it once was, they still aren’t exactly washed up.
MORE: A Kevin Durant reunion with Warriors ‘highly unlikely’
Golden State has set itself up for success now Y later.
If all goes according to plan, the next generation of Warriors should line up with Father Time by finally defeating Curry, Green and Thompson.
However, they will first look to dominate the 2022 NBA Summer League.