| By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor |
The Golden State Warriors turned into a major force in the NBA during the postseason.
Steph Curry emerged as a star in the league. David Lee made the All-Star team and Harrison Barnes showed himself to be a major cornerstone for the franchise.
The Warriors will return most of their core, although reserve guard Jarrett Jack, who finished third in Sixth Man of the Year voting, is a free-agent. Carl Landry, another key bench figure and Brandon Rush, who tore his ACL early in the regular season, both can opt out of their deals.
Restructuring the bench will be a major issue for Golden State in the offseason. The Warriors would probably want to bring all three back at the right price. Head coach Mark Jackson spoke numerous times during the playoffs about how special his group was. That's the biggest indicator of, if nothing else, Jackson's desire to keep the band together.
Problem is, the Warriors have no choices in this draft. They traded all of their selections to bolster the roster, so, unless a trade happens, the Golden State brain trust will have a relatively stress-free evening.
The Warriors could certainly find their way into a draft slot if they are interested enough. But, unlike most teams, the Warriors are probably not focused on improvement through the draft, rather, improvement through consistent unity.
Players under contract: G: Stephen Curry; F: David Lee; C: Andrew Bogut; F: Harrison Barnes; G: Klay Thompson; C: Festus Ezeli; F: Draymond Green; G: Kent Bazemore; F/C: Dwayne Jones; G: Scott Machado; C: Andris Biedrins (early termination option); F: Richard Jefferson (player option); F: Carl Landry (player option); F: Brandon Rush (player option)
Free agents: G: Jarrett Jack
Recent Draft History 2012: Harrison Barnes (7), Festus Ezeli (30), Draymond Green (35), Ognjen Kuzmic (52)
2011: Klay Thompson (11), Jeremy Tyler (39), Charles Jenkins (44)
2010: Ekpe Udoh (6)
2009: Stephen Curry (7)
2008: Anthony Randolph (14), Richard Hendrix (49)
Draft picks: No picks