The Golden State Warriors will look to defend their NBA championship without a few notable contributors from their title-winning squad.
Shortly after the NBA’s free-agency window opened, Gary Payton II, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Otto Porter Jr. all signed elsewhere.
Via Joey Linn of Inside the Warriors, Draymond Green congratulated his three former teammates in separate Instagram Story posts.
Payton will join the Portland Trail Blazers on a three-year, $28 million deal after setting career highs in points (7.1), rebounds (3.5), and steals (1.4) per game during Golden State’s championship season. He started 16 of 71 games played during the regular season and tallied 15 points in a Game 5 NBA Finals victory over the Boston Celtics.
Porter also played a pivotal role in Golden State’s success. The forward posted 8.2 points and 5.7 boards per contest during the season before inking a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.
Following three seasons with the Warriors as an undrafted free agent, Toscano-Anderson signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
While the Warriors lost some depth, they retained big man Kevon Looney and added shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo on a two-year agreement.
They also could give expanded roles to three recent lottery picks. Along with welcoming back James Wiseman from a knee injury, Golden State could lean more on Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga in their sophomore seasons.
Most importantly, their star foundation is still in place. Green will flank The Splash Brothers, Andrew Wiggins, and a burgeoning Jordan Poole to pursue their fifth championship of the decade.