Boston Celtics' post-Big Three rebuild possible for Warriors after NBA Play-In embarrassment

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix doesn't believe the Golden State Warriors' current core needs to play another game together, suggesting that the Dubs undergo a rebuild similar to the Boston Celtics when they knew their Big Three era was over -- trading away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets for a boatload of assets in the summer of 2013, setting up the post-Doc Rivers era brilliantly -- after an embarrassing 118-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings in the west's No. 9-No. 10 NBA Play-In matchup.

"When Boston reached the end of its run in 2013, it could have kept its team together, tried to squeeze one more run out of Pierce/KG/Rondo core," Mannix prefaced before saying, "Instead, they offloaded stars to get the draft capital that built them into the team they are today. It’s not a hot take to suggest the Warriors should do the same."

The only Warrior who appears like a lock to stick around is Steph Curry. Putting up 22 points in the elimination game and averaging 26.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game, Curry appears to be the only player from Golden State's long-established core who has any fight left in him.

Klay Thompson, who went scoreless and missed all 10 shots he took against the Kings, is the most likely Dub to have played his final game in a Warriors uniform. Draymond Green, who was suspended twice during the 2023-24 season, may be too much of a distraction himself; though teams may not be lining up to trade for the remaining $77 million he's owed from his latest extension.

This doesn't even get into Chris Paul's seemingly sabotaging one-year stint in the Bay Area. CP3 is likely ticketed to return to the Los Angeles area, where his family lives, to finally team up with LeBron James on the Lakers or to finish his career with the Clippers, a franchise he and the recently retired Blake Griffin elevated to new heights during the "Lob City" mid-2010s era.

Warriors in better position now than Boston Celtics were after Big Three disbanded

Boston underwent a quick rebuild after blowing up what was remaining of their Big Three core in 2013, missing the postseason just once in 2014 and getting back to the Eastern Conference Finals by 2017. That was as impressive of a rebuild as it gets.

But the Warriors don't even have to rebuild. In fact, make the right moves around Curry, and Golden State could likely be back in the title hunt by the 2025 playoffs.

Whether it's finally landing LeBron James in free agency after years of rumors, or simply finding savvy moves on the trade market using Green, Thompson (via sign-and-trade), Andrew Wiggins, and Jonathan Kuminga, the Warriors are in a great place to continue winning if the right moves are made by the front office.