What Klay Thompson’s Achilles Injury Means for the Warriors

     After the Warriors ended last season with the worst record in the league, everyone was looking forward to watching the return of one of the most entertaining teams in NBA history. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry were both looking promising as the offseason drew to a close, especially due to all the positive reports regarding the health of Klay Thompson’s left ACL, which he tore during the 2019 finals. Then, the night before the draft, news broke that Klay suffered a devastating lower leg injury which most fans immediately knew was the dreaded season-ending Achilles tear. Now, even though getting an NBA Championship is not out of the picture, the road to get there just got exponentially harder with the loss of a Splash Brother.

James Wiseman Scouting Report - The Stepien

     The Warriors still made the right decision in the draft by addressing their hole down low by selecting James Wiseman, the big man out of Memphis.  This year will be a great opportunity for him to grow as a player as now, most Warriors fans look towards the 2021-22 season as their next shot to make a legitimate title run. The most exciting aspect of Wiseman joining the Warriors is that it may develop a new facet of Stephen Curry’s game. Over the past few years, we’ve seen guards paired with athletic, lob-catching big men including Trae Young and John Collins, James Harden and Clint Capela, and Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan. If Wiseman is able to emulate the playing style of one of these lob-catching centers, the Warriors may actually still have a solid shot of giving the Lakers a run for their money.

     The acquisition of Kelly Oubre Jr from the Thunder, also, is a very underrated move because the Warriors now have a very capable starting shooting guard to replace Klay for this season. Oubre averaged 19 points a game last season in Phoenix, which will definitely take a hit due to the Warriors having more offensive weapons, but it should still hover around the 15 ppg mark. The issue is, even though the Warriors likely won’t take a huge hit in terms of scoring due to Klay’s injury, their offense will have to adapt yet again because Oubre simply has a different playstyle than Klay Thompson due to his unique athleticism and shifty attack.

     I trust Steve Kerr to create a potent system that takes advantage of all of the Warriors’ weapons. And even though the Warriors have a slim chance of getting far in the playoffs this year, as NBA fans, we should be optimistic because a new chapter of Warriors basketball can emerge with their great acquisitions thus far. 

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