The Warriors have a firm hold on last place in the NBA standings with 20 games left on their schedule. It was no secret that it was going to be a tough season for Golden State with Klay Thompson out with a torn ACL, but it really became a lost season when Steph Curry suffered a broken left hand on Oct. 30.
With the Warriors occupying the basement of the league, it certainly wouldn’t hurt things if the team officially shut down Curry for the rest of the season. But at the end of the day, there’s no real harm in bringing Curry back into the fold either, and according to the latest report from the NBA, Curry could return to the floor on Thursday against Toronto.
As far as tanking goes, the new NBA lottery odds give the three worst teams at the end of the year the same exact odds to acquire the No. 1 pick. While inserting Curry back into the lineup may shuffle some teams around the bottom of the league, the Warriors will still have a very strong chance at earning, at the worst, a top-four or five pick.
Speaking of this year’s NBA Draft, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, and LaMelo Ball are all intriguing players, but it’s far from a loaded class from top to bottom. It’s never a bad thing to have the No. 1 pick in your back pocket from a draft or possible trade standpoint, but Golden State could be just fine with a top-five pick wherever that may fall.
While the NBA Draft and off-court aspect of the situation is worth noting here, the most important piece to this puzzle is getting Curry on the court to gel with the new-look Warriors. While Curry has plenty of experience playing with Draymond Green, he hasn’t played with the new man in town, Andrew Wiggins. Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green will be the ‘big four’ in Golden State next season and getting three of those four players together for 20 or so games this season could build some momentum into the offseason and into next year.
There’s no question that a healthy Warriors squad will be battling for a top spot in the Western Conference next season and inserting Curry back into the lineup could be a difference-maker in getting the Warriors back to where they want to be.
Not only will the roster benefit, but this will also give the Warriors fanbase some excitement, something they haven’t had since the end of October.