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Golden State Warriors fantasy basketball season recap

Previous team recaps: DETWASPORCHASASTORMEMUTABKNATLCHIHOU, SAC

At a glance:

Record: 46-36 (10th, West)

Offensive Rating: 116.9 (9th)

Defensive Rating: 114.5 (15th)

Net Rating: 2.4 (13th)

Pace: 99.91 (11th)

2024 NBA Draft Picks: 52

Due to the NBA's salary cap rules, the cost of doing business gets very expensive for franchises that aim to contend annually. For that reason, this season was important for the Golden State Warriors. Klay Thompson was in a contract year, and the desire to improve the roster led to the Warriors trading Jordan Poole (and others) to Washington for Chris Paul. Golden State finished with two more regular season wins than their total in 2022-23, but the West's overall strength meant they were destined for the Play-In tournament. A road loss to the Kings ended the season for Steve Kerr's team, and lead executive Mike Dunleavy Jr. has some crucial issues to address this summer.

The futures of Thompson and Paul should be first on the agenda, as the latter's contract for next season will become guaranteed on June 28. CP3 is due to make $30 million in 2024-25, which may not work financially for the Warriors. As for Thompson, his leaving via free agency would mark the end of an era, as the "Splash Brothers" and Draymond Green were cornerstones for a group that won four titles in eight seasons.

From a fantasy standpoint, while the Warriors had four top 100 players in 9-cat formats, Stephen Curry was the only one to finish the season ranked within the top 75. Green, Paul, and Thompson were also top 100 players, but the latter two's production was slightly underwhelming compared to their respective ADPs. The play of rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis was encouraging, while Jonathan Kuminga took off once he was given an expanded and clearly defined role.

Fantasy Standout: Stephen Curry

Curry was an easy choice for this spot, as he finished the season as a top 25 player in 8- and 9-cat per-game value. That did not align with his Yahoo ADP (6.7), but Curry's productivity did not plummet. In 74 games, he averaged 26.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 4.8 3-pointers in 32.7 minutes, shooting 45.0% from the field and 92.3% from the foul line. While Curry's points, rebounds, and assists decreased compared to the previous season, the 74 games are the most he's played since the 2016-17 campaign (79). This was the first season of at least 65 games for the future Hall of Fame guard since 2018-19 (69 games).

Curry turned 36 in March, and with the uncertainty surrounding other key contributors on the roster, are his days as a first-round fantasy pick finished? The 2023-24 season was just the second of Curry's career in which he failed to provide top 20 per-game value, with the first being 2019-20. That season, he was limited to five games due to injury. Curry will remain productive, but the question ahead of 2024-25 is how much the loss of Thompson would impact him if Klay were to sign elsewhere. Steph has the skill set needed to provide first-round value, but we may be entering an era in which he cannot be selected that early in drafts.

Fantasy Revelation: Jonathan Kuminga

Kuminga's season-long fantasy value wasn't great, as he failed to crack the top 150 in either 8- or 9-cat per-game value. However, this was by far his most productive campaign as a pro. Appearing in 74 games (46 starts), Kuminga averaged 16.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 0.7 3-pointers in 26.3 minutes. The third-year wing shot 52.9% from the field and 74.6% from the foul line. Establishing career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field-goal percentage, and free-throw percentage. Kuminga was a top 150 player in totals for the first time, and his production increased when allowed to start.

In 46 starts, the former lottery pick averaged 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 3-pointers in 29.0 minutes, shooting 53.1% from the field and 77.2% from the foul line. As a reserve, Kuminga accounted for 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 0.9 3-pointers in 21.9 minutes, shooting 52.4% from the field and 69.6% from the foul line. Kuminga's offensive rating and usage were slightly higher as a reserve than a starter. JK is eligible for an extension this summer; if he and the Warriors don't agree before the start of next season, he will be a restricted free agent in 2025. Kuminga's production improved once he was given an expanded role, making him someone to watch ahead of next season.

Fantasy Disappointment: Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins had a Yahoo ADP of 90.0, and it was certainly fair to expect a top-100 season from him, given his previous production since joining the Warriors in 2019. Unfortunately, after injury limited him to 37 games in 2022-23, the former first-overall pick saw his production decrease considerably this season. In 71 games (59 starts), Wiggins averaged 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.3 3-pointers in 27.0 minutes, shooting 45.3% from the field and 75.1% from the foul line.

He got off to a slow start and didn't begin to recover until it was too late for most fantasy managers, finishing the season ranked outside the top 200 in 8- and 9-cat formats. Refusing to draft Wiggins would be an overreaction, even with his poor production this season. However, using a top-100 pick on him would be a reach. As with Kuminga, what happens with Thompson will impact Wiggins' opportunities within the rotation.

Fantasy Recaps/Look-Aheads

Draymond Green: Green was limited to 55 games in 2023-24, the third time he has played that many or fewer in the last five seasons. Injuries and suspensions kept the games tally down, and it's become quite clear that the league is done with the "extras." A hit to Jusuf Nurkic led to Draymond being suspended indefinitely in December, and 20 of his 27 games missed were due to suspension. He provided top-100 per-game value on the court, averaging 8.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 0.9 3-pointers in 27.1 minutes. Shooting 49.7% from the field and 73.0% from the foul line, Green was used at power forward and center this season, according to Cleaning the Glass.

The ability to be slotted into two positions does help Green from a fantasy value standpoint. Still, the availability concern is something that fantasy managers have to account for in their evaluations. Green is a capable playmaker within the Warriors offense, and he remains one of the top defenders in the NBA. But that doesn't mean much when a player isn't consistently available. He will again be worthy of a top-100 selection ahead of next season, but fantasy managers should not expect the production to exceed that threshold by a significant margin.

Klay Thompson: In what could be his final season in a Warriors uniform, Thompson's production decreased after a quality 2022-23 campaign. In 77 games, he averaged 17.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 3.5 3-pointers in 29.7 minutes, shooting 43.2% from the field and 92.7% from the foul line. Thompson led the NBA in free-throw percentage, but a shooting slump led to his being moved to the bench just before the All-Star break. He returned to the starting lineup for good in late March, but the veteran guard was a better scorer as a reserve (19.8 ppg) than a starter (17.4).

Thompson finished the season as a top-100 fantasy player, but we may be past the point where he should be selected that high in most drafts. As noted above, he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, which is one of the significant decisions that the Warriors decision-makers must address. If Klay's run in the Bay Area is to end this summer, there won't be a shortage of playoff-caliber teams interested in his services. The role Thompson is asked to take on will significantly impact his fantasy ceiling (and floor) if he were to move on.

Chris Paul: A starter throughout his illustrious career, Paul was asked to come off the bench for most of his first (and possibly only) season with the Warriors. Starting 18 of the 59 games he appeared in, CP3 averaged 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 3-pointers in 26.4 minutes. Shooting 44.1% from the field and 82.7% from the foul line, Paul's scoring average was the lowest of his career. This was the first time he failed to average at least 13.9 points per game.

Paul's production did not match his Yahoo ADP (72.7), but he finished the season ranked just inside the top 100 in 9-cat per-game value. However, unless CP3 were to wind up in a position where he's locked into the starting lineup, selecting him with a top-75 pick may be a bit much moving forward. His contract for next season is worth $30 million, but it is not guaranteed until June 28. Given Golden State's cap situation, the chances of the Warriors keeping Paul under contract appear incredibly slim. He won't lack options as a free agent, but it's unlikely that Paul's role will be as prominent as in previous seasons.

Brandin Podziemski: Selected with the 19th overall pick in last summer's draft, Podziemski was one of the NBA's best rookies this season. Earning All-Rookie first-team honors, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 3-pointers in 26.6 minutes. Shooting 45.4% from the field and 63.3% from the foul line, Podziemski started 28 of the 74 games he appeared in. While he failed to crack the top 150 in 8- or 9-cat formats, Podziemski's role within the Warriors rotation will only grow in importance, especially if the team doesn't re-sign Thompson and Paul also moves on. Expecting a top-100 season from Podziemski may be a bit greedy, but he would be worth the risk in that scenario.

Trayce Jackson-Davis: Jackson-Davis may have been a second-round pick, but he entered this season well-positioned to carve out a role for himself. It took a little time, but TJD's minutes increased in mid-December, and he started Golden State's final ten games of the regular season. Making 68 appearances (16 starts), Jackson-Davis averaged 7.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 16.6 minutes, shooting 70.2% from the field and 56.1% from the foul line.

Per-36 numbers can be fool's gold, but Jackson-Davis averaged 17.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes as a rookie, good for top 75 value. As a starter, TJD averaged 11.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.7 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game. Kevon Looney remains in the fold, but the starting center job may be TJD's to lose when training camp begins. If Jackson-Davis earns the right to start, he must be selected in fantasy drafts. Would he be worth a top-100 pick? That's certainly something to ponder, but the potential is there.

Moses Moody: While Moody's Year 3 production was the best of his career, the increase wasn't as significant as draft classmate Kuminga's. In 66 games, Moody averaged 8.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.1 3-pointers in 17.5 minutes, shooting 46.2% from the field and 78.5% from the foul line. Golden State's surplus of rotation-caliber options on the perimeter limited Moody's ceiling, which impacted his fantasy value. He failed to crack the top 250 in 8- and 9-cat formats, and it isn't easy to trust him in fantasy leagues for 2024-25. Thompson's potential exit would free up minutes on the perimeter, and the Warriors not having a first-round pick could protect Moody to a certain extent. However, it will take a lot for him to become a player who has to be drafted suddenly. Also, like Kuminga, he is extension eligible this summer.

Kevon Looney: Looney has been a consistent presence in the Warriors' rotation, but his production in 2023-24 showed that the 2022-23 season was an anomaly regarding fantasy value. In 74 games, Looney averaged 4.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 16.1 minutes, shooting 59.7% from the field and 67.5% from the foul line. He did start 36 games last season, but none occurred after January 25. The addition and emergence of rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis didn't help the few who hoped to get some fantasy value out of Looney. TJD should be the Warriors' first choice to man the middle moving forward, which would cut into Looney's already-low fantasy value. While he may have streaming value sometimes, there isn't much to be gained from selecting the veteran center in most drafts.

Restricted Free Agents: Usman Garuba, Lestern Quinones

Unrestricted Free Agents: Klay Thompson, Dario Saric

Team Options: Gary Payton II