Before Wednesday night's blockbuster matchup against the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that the organization's golden dynasty might end very soon. It was yet another reminder of how precious these next few years are for the Warriors, who are at the tail end of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green's time together.
It was also no coincidence that Kerr said this statement amid the Warriors' struggles to start the season. After claiming their 4th championship in 8 years just 4 months ago, Golden State has gotten off to a rough start in this brand-new season as they've lost 9 out of their 15 games (6-9) and have yet to nab a dub on the road. What's even more concerning is that Curry, who is in his 14th season, is statistically playing the best basketball of his career, but somehow, the Warriors are only spiraling downwards.
Curry is at the center of the Warriors' solar system
It's an understatement to say that Curry, who's averaging 31.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 6.6 rebounds a game to start the season, has been carrying his team to start the season. For context, the 4-time champion is averaging more points, rebounds, and assists per game than Michael Jordan did during the Chicago Bulls' "Last Dance" season. Yet, Golden State had only won once this season when Curry scored below 30 points (against a rebuilding San Antonio Spurs team).
Wednesday's game versus the Suns (who were missing 2 starters) fully encapsulated the Warriors' problems to start the season. Despite a 50-point avalanche in 36 minutes from Curry (the 7th in his career), Golden State still lost the game by 11 points. Curry's teammates, specifically Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green (who are all under lucrative contracts), only ranked up a combined 44 points. The Warriors' defense (which played a huge role in their championship season) currently ranks bottom 5 in the league.
Whether it's Thompson's shooting struggles, Poole's inconsistent production as the team's 6th man, Green's lack of offensive bag, or the young players constantly getting DNPs (particularly Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman), the Warriors have major problems that need to be addressed pronto. They seem to no longer have a defensive edge over their opponents; frankly, everyone besides Curry has significantly underperformed.
Now the biggest question for the Warriors brass is how they can solve their issue. Are they willing to give up their future the way the Chicago Bulls did in the last year of their dynasty? More importantly, will Golden State do everything it can to maximize arguably the greatest offensive player in basketball history?
The Warriors' two-timeline approach has failed
Entering this season, the Warriors organization hoped to merge two timelines — their big 3 core that won 4 championships and pioneered one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time, along with their young but inexperienced players, specifically Wiseman, Kuminga, Moses Moody, Poole, and Patrick Baldwin Jr. So far, this hasn't panned up for Golden State as there's an obvious clash instead of a balance between the championship veterans and youth.
This then leads the Warriors to make an extremely uncomfortable yet vital decision, whether or not they're willing to part ways with their youth to maximize, as Kerr said, the last 2 years of their dynasty. They have the assets to trade for a veteran who can fit the team's current timeline or even a superstar (a Kevin Durant reunion, you say?) with just a phone call away.
Curry is having the best season of his career, and it's not ridiculous to say that Golden State will probably never have a player as good as him. But is the organization willing to ditch its two-timeline approach? Because it's clear as day that this approach has failed them so far with no hope in sight.