The Warriors' fall from grace has happened quicker than anyone could have imagined. Although anyone who’s paying attention knows that Golden State has had terrible injury luck, nobody would have anticipated that they would sit at the bottom of the NBA at this point in the season.
Stephen Curry’s rehabilitation has been going well, with a target to return within weeks from the broken hand that left him sidelined earlier in the season. But with the Warriors out of playoff contention, many are wondering what the point is.
Trading for Andrew Wiggins has not yet proven to be an effective move, as the young talent has struggled to produce thus far. I’m of a mind that although you don’t want to rush him back, no good can come from sidelining Curry for the rest of the season.
A presence like Steph on the court will draw attention away from Wiggins and provide him with more open scoring opportunities. It will also allow Golden State to evaluate how Wiggins fits with the team and if chemistry exists between him and its superstar.
If Wiggins thrives, or continues to improve playing next to the player that Golden State’s offense has been predicated upon for the duration of its recent success, then it might be a good idea to stick with him. If not, the Warriors have other options.
It looks likely that they will have a good pick in the upcoming draft, and can either use it to pick up an effective center, or even opt to bundle the pick with Wiggins in order to trade for a fourth star to pair with Curry, Thompson and Green.
Most people anticipate that a healthy Curry, Thompson and Green will be competitive next year no matter what. But there’s no need for Golden State to coddle the guy who’s responsible for its three recent titles. In fact, it may actually be counterproductive.
The point is that Golden State is doing just fine. Sure, the Warriors are down on their luck currently, but their franchise is still in a spot that most others would kill for. Luckily, their two injured superstars’ games are largely predicated upon their legendary shooting ability, so their injuries have very little chance of taking away their ability to be successful into the future.
It is not an uncommon belief that Golden State will be competitive next year, but depending on the choices it makes in the interim, I believe it is premature to write off its chances of extending its dynasty.
And despite my personal bias of wanting to see Curry back on the court, I believe letting him play as soon as he is able will be good for the game and will be the first step toward retaining Golden State's dynasty.