One lingering question that has surrounded the Golden State Warriors all offseason is what will they do about the starting shooting guard position. All-Star sharpshooter Klay Thompson’s rehab is on schedule, but he will miss games to start the season. He could make his return in January. The Warriors will be extremely cautious about when he’s entirely back.
The Warriors added many options to play on the wings, but ultimately the spot is reserved for Thompson. You have the third-year guard out of Michigan, Jordan Poole, the veteran, and 2015 Finals MVP winner Andre Iguodala, lastly, the No. 14 pick in the draft Moses Moody and a host of other capable players who can hold down the fort. One of these three will more than likely win the position.
In preseason we might see all three players mentioned above get a start or two. It will be the perfect time to try different combinations to see who fits in with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green the best. The start of a game will be more important than the outcome. A player might finish with 20 points but what will matter most is the production alongside Curry. I’m sure analytics will play a big part in this.
Most will assume the job would be too big for the rookie Moody. His confidence and effort could be enough to get him the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s not always the best player that gets in the starting lineup. It’s more so the best fit. If he can defend at a high level and knock down open shots, it would make him a viable option.
The safest option would be the veteran Iguodala. He’s won championships with the Warriors, and he already knows how to fit in with Curry. He’s played in the biggest games in Warriors history. He is established as a player and has no reason to step outside of his comfort zone. Throughout his career, he’s always been a top-tier defender, and it doesn’t seem he’s lost too much in that part of his game.
Then there’s the player who is expected to have a big year Poole. He might be the best scorer on the team behind Curry and Thompson. The thing Steve Kerr wants to see from Poole this year is to improve on the defensive end. Thompson was one of the best two-way players in the NBA. You can’t fully replace him, but if you can find a player who can impact both sides of the court, it’s a win. Poole has the qualities you need to be a good defender, and he knows that’s something expected from him.
In the end, none of these players are Thompson, and it’s going to be difficult for whoever to try and fill his shoes. But a decision has to be made, and one of these three players will be the one who has to step up big time.