This Warriors roster won’t win it all
The Coach Thorpe plan to get Stephen Curry a fifth ring
BY DAVID THORPE
If a meeting hasn’t yet occurred between Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry, and probably also core players like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, they might want to have one now. The question: “Do we even have a shot?”
To my eyes, the answer is: “No.” The odds this team wins an NBA championship this year—or ever, without real upgrades—are zero percent.
Look, the old guard has simply gotten older. Other than Steph, who has been shooting even better than last regular season, they have veterans in decline. Klay and Draymond have lost some athletic pop, and Green had noticeably less last year than the year before. They sorely miss Gary Payton II’s defensive instincts.
The fix was supposed to be the ascension of Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, and Moses Moody. But they just haven’t ascended as the Warriors envisioned. They’ve seen more of them and all in all probably like them less. Now their futures are cloudier than ever. Kuminga has made a big jump defensively, but it’s naïve to think he’s playable on offense. Wiseman can’t get off the bench even when he is healthy. Moody is only 20, but the Warriors probably have to concede he’s a role player at best. More importantly, he’s unplayable in the postseason.
The Warriors were the envy of the league with a win-now-and-win-later strategy. Now that it’s clear the first part is broken, is it worth meddling with the second?
The question becomes: Can the Warriors trade away a young player or two and net a return that gets the Warriors back to the promised land?
There’s an argument, of course, for the Warriors to exercise patience through the postseason. Don’t forget that their starting five from last June—Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green, Looney—has the second-best net rating among all starting lineups this season. Maybe the young guys can figure it out. If not, take a first-round loss on the chin, and then put everyone but Curry up for grabs this summer. They could renovate quickly by cashing in on big names, even if it cost them next-stage darlings like Poole, Wiggins, or Kevon Looney. Not sure how Dubs Nation would feel about that, but no matter what happens, painful decisions are coming.
Only one thing is clear to me: