Former two-time NBA champion Zaza Pachulia is confident that the Golden State Warriors will be a contender next season as he absolutely believes that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be performing at a high level.
After five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the Warriors missed out on the playoffs last year after finishing the season with a 15-50 record. But it wasn't surprising since Kevin Durant left in the free agency, Thompson missed the entire season due to an injury, Curry also almost missed the entire season and Green was also dealing with injuries.
But with now everyone set to return fully healthy, Pachulia expects the Warriors to again be one of the top teams in the NBA. Pachulia was a member of the Warriors team that won back-to-back NBA titles in 2017 and 2018. "I don't know if they are going to get better, to be honest," Pachulia told NBC Sports Bay Area's Grant Liffmann on the latest episode of the Runnin' Plays podcast, as quoted on Yahoo Sports.
"But I believe they are going to compete at the highest level. I kind of forgot how great it has been the last couple years because of the type of year we had last year. "And then injuries, obviously. We have not seen Klay at all on the court.
Unfortunately, we had to watch other teams playing in [the] playoffs and [the NBA] Finals."
Pachulia insists Warriors fans should be excited
After finishing the season with the league-worst record, the Warriors landed the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
During this past season, the Warriors agreed on a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which landed them 2014 No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. "I guarantee you, once we see those three guys on the court, we're going to get those memories and feelings back," Pachulia said.
"And we haven't mentioned we got Andrew Wiggins. And [Kevon] Looney looks amazing, he's healthy, he looks great. We have young guys who got a great opportunity last year. I think they grew. Second year, we're expecting them to be better."
Now as a Warriors fans, Pachulia is excited about the next season. "I'm excited for next year," Pachulia said. "Everybody should feel that way, just to see those guys back on the court healthy, ready to go.
Those memories are going to come back, those feelings are going to come back. I'm positive and I'm very excited for them next year."