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Fantasy Basketball Breakouts, Busts, and Locks - Golden State Warriors (2023-24)

Stephen Curry - NBA DFS Picks, Daily Fantasy Basketball

Welcome to yet another edition of RotoBaller's Fantasy Basketball Breakouts, Busts, and Locks for the 2023-24 season. Today we will be looking at the Golden State Warriors; a team who are desperate for a chance to get one last ring.

Last season was a complete disaster. It all started with Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole and got even worse with a 20-21 start which included a dreadful 3-16 (shoutout to Steve Austin) record on the road. They scrapped their "two timelines" plan by trading James Wiseman before going on an 8-2 run to get into the playoffs, where they squeaked by the Kings before being disposed of by the Lakers. Now, they have grabbed Chris Paul and are hoping to get their core another ring.

In this article, we will highlight the breakout, bust, and lock picks for the 2023-2024 Warriors.

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Golden State Warriors Fantasy Breakout: Jonathan Kuminga

Kuminga was featured in my third-year fantasy breakouts article because I believe that history will repeat itself. Just as he was entering his third season, Draymond replaced David Lee after Lee suffered an injury that kept him out of action for a while. Lee was still an All-Star caliber player, as he averaged 18.2 points per game and a +11.2 Plus/Minus Net Per 100 Possessions in 2013-14, the season before he was replaced.

Draymond is still the same player he has always been and averaged a +13.1 Plus/Minus Net Per 100 Possessions last season. The similarities are eerie. Obviously, Kuminga doesn't have a similar playstyle to Draymond (Draymond is one-of-a-kind) but he is exactly what the Warriors need, which is what Draymond was in 2014.

Back then, they needed a small-ball frontcourt player who could space the floor and pass the ball while also playing exceptional defense. Now, the Warriors need the same thing. Both Draymond and Kuminga averaged a negative Plus/Minus Net Per 100 Possessions in their first two seasons, and in Kuminga's case it's down to him playing with a terrible bench, so there's no need to worry about that.

He is already a solid defender who should get even better due to his 6-foot-11 wingspan and great mobility. The Warriors will eventually turn to him after Chris Paul underperforms and/or when Klay Thompson gets cooked while trying to guard PFs when Draymond is out.

I said that before and I'll say it again: Kuminga has averaged 16.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 58.9% from the field and 43.7% from three in the 40 games where he played over 25+ minutes. His 24-point, eight-rebound performance in the first game of the preseason was a great start too, and he definitely has the talent to keep it up.

 

Golden State Warriors Fantasy Bust: Chris Paul

There are so many reasons why you should stay well away from Chris Paul in fantasy this year. For starters, he's 38. He will most definitely have the worst season of his career, and that's going by how other all-time great PGs have performed when they turn 38. CP3's worst season in terms of PPG+APG was actually last season, as he averaged 22.8 PPG+APG.

The highest PPG+APG a point guard has ever averaged at the age of 38 is 20.6, by none other than John Stockton. However, Stockton was the primary ball-handler on the Jazz, something that Chris Paul isn't on this Dubs team. The only age-38 PG season that is comparable to Paul's current situation is 2012-13 Steve Nash.

After joining the Lakers to play alongside Kobe, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard to get Kobe, the team's franchise superstar guard one last ring (sounds familiar?). Steve Nash had a solid season in 2012-13, averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 assists per game, and almost joined the 50/40/90 club for the fifth time.

That's good and all, but consider this: He had considerably less PPG+APG than CP3 last season (19.4), he missed 22 games due to injuries, he had 18 games where he recorded five or fewer assists and 13 games where he recorded nine or fewer points. For one of the most consistent players ever, that's pretty inconsistent, and we can expect Paul to have a similar output.

Even if you're okay with CP3 having a worse season than last year and performing at a similar level to 2012-13 Nash, you have to remember that Nash started in every game that year and played 32.5 minutes a night, and I just don't see Paul playing that much this year.

 

Golden State Warriors Fantasy Lock: Stephen Curry

Another article in this series, yet another no-brainer. Super Steph isn't gone, he's still here. People are disrespecting him in fantasy draft boards due to his injuries last season, but let's not forget that he has appeared in 79.2% of his regular-season games since turning 30, which is around 65 games in an 82-game season.

Due to his unprecedented sheer statistical production, that's more than enough games for him to dominate. He has averaged 28.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists a night on 47% shooting from the field, 41.4% from three, and 91.9% from the free-throw line in that timespan. His dominance in the made-threes and three-point percentage categories will never be seen again.

There will always be the temptation to take one of the "young guns" like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyrese Haliburton, and LaMelo Ball over Steph but if you're doing it for injury-related reasons, then you have got to remember that these guys aren't any less "injury-prone" than Steph. Tyrese played in the same amount of games as Steph last season.

LaMelo played in 20 fewer games than Steph and got hurt in his rookie year as well. Shai missed 41% of his games from 2020-21 to 2021-22 before staying healthy last season. In today's NBA, people are getting injured left, right, and center, even the young guys, so being hesitant to draft Curry because "he won't play in more than 70 games" is a flawed argument. If you can get him, then go for it.

 



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