Warriors & COVID-19

While many would jump at the chance to get tested for the Coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, the Golden State Warriors are standing tall (pun intended) and have refused to jump to the front of the line and get tested before thousands of other people who have been waiting. While information regarding COVID-19 is limited, we do know that young, healthy adults are the least likely to be severely impacted by what has become a global pandemic.  

Warriors’ President Bob Myers stated, “We’ve been told that the testing is in short supply, and we’re treating ourselves like people. We’re not better than anyone else…. I’ve been told we shouldn’t test asymptomatic people in California.”

Although we know that professional athletes are not immune to the virus, which was proved when Kevin Durant and several other NBA players announced they had contracted COVID-19, early indications are that the consequences are not dire. We can only assume that no one on the Golden State roster or staff has exhibited any symptoms, regardless, we should all stand up and applaud Myers’ response in a increasingly onerous time in our nation’s history. 

What’s Next for Warriors?

After digging through the odds, we can see that the Warriors are nowhere to be found on the board because they have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. In fact, the Coronavirus may have eliminated all teams from postseason play if the league is unable to get up and running in the next couple of months. Therefore, let’s delve into what the Warriors will do to rebound from their penthouse to the outhouse 2019-2020 season. 

Free agency is looming, and also the draft, a bright spot for the Warriors as they will have the best chance at wrangling the No. 1 overall pick and at least a guaranteed top-five selection. However, the Warriors have four max-level players on their roster and a total of $148.9 million earmarked for eight guaranteed players and four partially-guaranteed players. When healthy, the front of the roster is as good as any in the league but depth is not the Warriors’ strong suit. 

Perhaps the first thing Golden State could do is trade down simply because there is no clear-cut consensus superstar, unlike last year when Zion Williamson stood head and shoulders above the rest. It’s a bit like the Celtics trading down from the No. 1 spot to No. 3 back in 2017, allowing the 76ers to pick Markelle Fultz while Jayson Tatum and a future first-rounder were headed to Boston. 

We all know how that turned out and it is something the Warriors should consider due to a truncated NCAA season where the verdict is still out on many of the younger collegiate players. Is there really enough tape on 18-year-old LaMelo Ball or Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards? Would anyone in the Bay Area truly wince if the Warriors got a future first-round pick and landed USC’s Onyeka Okongwu or international players Deni Avdija or Killian Hayes? The Warriors do not need to draft for position but rather for pure talent and a player who will fill the void in case any of their perennial starters are out. 

Head coach Steve Kerr commented on the upcoming draft, “I’m watching tape on some of our draft prospects. And, you know, something I haven’t been able to do much of over the years, and I hadn’t done any of it this year. So, I’m trying to use that time to get a feel for the guys who are on our list for the draft coming up.”

As for free agency, there will be no superstars being wooed to the 510 unless they can unload Andrew Wiggins and his nearly $30 million paycheck. What the Warriors need is a veteran backup like Orlando’s DJ Augustin or former UConn star Shabazz Napier who was having one of his best seasons with the Wizards after getting increased playing time due to John Wall’s injury that sidelined him for the season. 

There will be plenty of opportunities for the Warriors to rebound next season and for all the latest breaking NBA news, head over to Sportsbook Review.