Warriors Below .500 And Deep Into The Luxury Tax. It’s Time For Them To Do The Unthinkable And Trade Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors are 17-19 and in 12th place in the Western Conference, outside the play-in. The team is old, injured and extremely expensive. While it may be unthinkable to the fanbase, now is the time to trade Stephen Curry and begin the rebuild.

“It’s pretty evident that if things stay the same, that’s the definition of insanity, right? Keep doing the same thing but expecting different results,” said Curry after the team got drilled by the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

Hard For Teams To Admit When Dynasties End

That’s the thing with the Warriors and many dynasties. The tendency is to just continue to do the same because we have evidence it works. The core of this team just won an NBA title 18 months ago. No doubt they, owner Joe Lacob, GM Mike Dunleavy Jr., and head coach Steve Kerr believe it can happen again.

The problem is, all dynasties come to an end. The Warriors’ is crumbling right before our eyes and, if we’re all honest, it has been happening for a while.

This team is scheduled to pay $186 million in luxury tax this season, an NBA record. That’s fine if you’re a No. 1 seed and competing for a title, but they aren’t.

The young players on this team might be good one day, but we don’t know that because Kerr and his staff haven’t been consistently developing them. Jonathan Kuminga was in an open feud with Kerr until recently.

Steph Is The Only Player With Value On The Roster

Klay Thompson is a shell of his former self and on the last year of a deal. Andrew Wiggins hasn’t reverted back to Minnesota Timberwolves’ Wiggins, he’s gotten worse. Chris Paul is injured. And there is Darymond Green, who is returning from suspension for punching the Phoenix Suns’ Jusuf Nurkic.

What kind of value do any of the aforementioned have in this league among other teams?

That brings us to 35-year-old Steph. He’s having a down year in terms of on-court impact, his worst since year two in the league. But he’s still a plus player, in the 94th percentile in EPM. He’s still an elite shooter and off ball mover. But it’s not enough to lift this struggling team.

“You get to a point where you’re trying to explain it, trying to figure out what can change specifically that can help us,” Curry said. “Those conversations are happening in between games, in film sessions, in the locker room. But it’s headed in the opposite direction. I don’t know what to say about it. We’re not used to this vibe around our team. … It all sucks.”

Lacob doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax for a non-contender. His comments about being “light years ahead” of the rest of the league now look dumb. This team needs a reset, and the best way to reset is with draft capital and young cheap talent.

A Steph trade is difficult because the team would need to be willing to take the public relations hit, which I’m not sure they are. They would also need to do right by Steph and move him to a team that can contend.

What team has the salary to match ($51 million for Curry this season), the draft capital, and enough young cheap talent that the roster wouldn’t be completely gutted to bring him in? That’s the struggle with old supermax players who are still elite and want to contend.

The OKC Thunder would have to work to match the salary. The Wolves don’t have enough draft capital. The Pelicans are interesting, and the Knicks don’t have enough young talent.

A trade is really difficult and unlikely. But the Warriors are coming to a crumbling end, and this is the fate of most dynasties.

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