The Golden State Warriors will be seeing the long-awaited return of their superstar point guard, Stephen Curry, as a return date has officially been set for this Sunday.
The Golden State Warriors have dearly missed Stephen Curry this season — that much for certain. And since his season — and the Warriors playoff hopes — came crumbling down just four games into the season, they’ve been counting down the days until his eventual return.
It appears as though the wait is finally over.
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The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Tuesday that Curry is expected to make his long-awaited return this Sunday in the Warriors game against the Washington Wizards.
Curry has been out since October 30th when a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes resulted in a fractured left hand. In his absence, the Warriors have gone just 11-42 and currently sit dead last in the NBA standings.
Much of that is due to Curry’s injury, but it’s very likely that this wouldn’t be a playoff team even with a healthy Stephen Curry.
So what exactly does his return mean for the Warriors?
Well, not much really — at least at the surface level.
Golden State is currently vying for a top-three draft pick to give them the best odds of landing the elusive No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. If anything, Curry’s return could hurt them in that regard.
That said, the young players on the team will certainly benefit from sharing the court with the two-time MVP. Players like Ky Bowman, Damion Lee, and Jordan Poole will each have an opportunity to play alongside Curry down the stretch.
But perhaps most important is the fact that we will finally be able to see Curry on the floor with Andrew Wiggins.
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Wiggins has been impressive since coming over from Minnesota in a deadline deal that sent D’Angelo Russell packing to the Timberwolves. The Warriors wanted to be patient with Russell, but they ultimately saw Wiggins as a better fit.
Now, we’ll be able to see if they were right.
Consider the final 22 games that they will have together as a test run of sorts. If the experiment pays off, Wiggins could be a part of the future. If not, the Warriors likely won’t hesitate to try and flip him in the offseason.
Curry isn’t going to magically lead the Warriors back into playoff contention. He isn’t going to fix all of the team’s glaring holes.
But he is going to bring people to the stadium and help develop some of the young role players on the roster. And most importantly, the Warriors now have a month-and-a-half-long trial period to see how Curry and Wiggins play together.
On the surface, Curry’s return doesn’t seem to make much sense. But hidden beneath the blatant is a calculated strategy that will serve the team better in the long run.
And that’s why Stephen Curry is returning on Sunday.