Ever since Steve Kerr took over the Golden State Warriors, the team has been known for its full motion offense, its depth, and its suffocating defense. This season, they're missing two out of those three.
The Dubs lost some key pieces in the offseason, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Otto Porter Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Nemanja Bjelica all played a big part in last year's championship run.
However, none of those losses compares to Gary Payton II, as he was their best defender by a long stretch. In fact, it seems like some Warriors players are still mad at the front office for not resigning him.
NBA Rumors: Warriors Players Are Mad At The Front Office For Letting Gary Payton II Go
“If there is anything that the guys on that team, around that team, are upset with, it is letting Payton go, letting him get paid somewhere else like he did,” a Western Conference executive told Heavy's Sean Deveney. “Everyone understands that with the [luxury] tax, it was really tough to bring him back, but they could have kept him and let [Kevon] Looney walk because, in theory, it would be easier to replace a big guy.”
“Looney means a lot in that locker room, and it is tricky playing center for the Warriors, so they felt they had to keep him,” the executive added. “But losing Payton has really hurt that bench.”
Payton hasn't been able to play this season due to injury, but it shouldn't take long before he's back on the court. He went from being an afterthought and barely making the roster to becoming one of the most respected players in the locker room.
Steve Kerr has scrambled with his rotations to try and fix their defensive flaws, especially in the second unit. Unfortunately, maybe the guy they needed is the one they let go of because of the luxury tax.