The entire premise of the Warriors being a playoff team this year disappeared when Aaron Baynes landed on Steph Curry’s hand. In obvious pain, Curry left the arena and had an X-ray that confirmed what everyone feared.
We will get more detail from the Warriors after an MRI and CT scans are done, but we already know Curry broke his left hand and it is only a matter of how long will he be out. If he only broke a metacarpal bone (some reports hinted at that), that would put him out for 6 – 8 weeks. Even shorter absence from Curry would mean the Warriors have no shot at making the playoffs. So what now?
With Klay out for the season, Looney still not ready to go and a team that was struggling and now the two time MVP gone, tanking is the only way to go. The Warriors 2020 1st round pick is top 20 protected, no risk in that going to the Nets now. Time to rack up losses and get a high draft pick. But, this will not be your 76ers tank job. The 76ers intentionally put out teams that made no sense – they were designed to lose.
The Warriors have a roster of young players, Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russel. This team wasn’t designed to lose, they’re just young and inexperienced. Now they have a chance to give young players a lot of minutes, see who is a keeper and develop them. Draymond can reduce his minutes a bit, save his body for ’20/’21 and be a veteran presence and mentor for the young players.
The Warriors always claimed they signed Russell to keep him. This is something you say even if you plan to trade him, not to reduce his trade value. Russell will now get all the offense he wants, giving the Warriors to fully integrate him if they really want to keep him or increase his trade value in case they want to trade him. Minnesota will be the first team to call if Russell is put on the trading block.
There probably is no Tim Duncan in the 2020 Draft, but this could be similar to the Spurs in ’96/’97. Robinson was injured, they tanked, got the first pick, selected Duncan and came back with a 56–26 season. This is the mindset the Warriors need right now.