The Golden State Warriors were invited to the second bubble, but does it make sense to attend?
After their injury-plagued season halted with a 15-50 record, the Golden State Warriors did not get invited to the NBA’s restart, slated to begin later this month.
This appeared to be the best-case scenario, as with their roster thinned due to injury, they were not in any shape to legitimately contend.
Recent reports say that the NBA will now form a second ‘bubble’ environment in Chicago, to allow those eight teams to continue playing and not have such a long layoff. For most teams, this makes sense, particularly with younger players who need to continue developing.
However, for the Warriors — a team that has won three championships in the past half-decade — they find themselves in an odd situation.
Golden States’ two biggest stars, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both coming off significant injuries that caused them to miss most, if not all, of the season.
Sending them into this environment would be risky, particularly for Thompson, as he just missed the entirety of the season due to ACL rehab.
Curry, who played only five games this season due to a broken wrist, was in a similar situation and shared his thoughts on that matter on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
"“At the end of the day, it would be hard for me to play meaningless games, and that’s pretty obvious. But in terms of young guys trying to get as much basketball to break up, for the bottom eight teams, this potential eight-,nine-month layoffs, I think it’s a good effort. Obviously safety first, that’s what everything is about. So if they can answer those questions, then we’ll see what happens.”"
Curry was spot on with his take, as the bubble is for the young players, not three-time NBA championships such as himself, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Letting this trio sit out is undoubtedly the right move because, given their track record over the past five years, they are just fine in terms of development.
Does it make sense for the Warriors to attend?
Even if that trio does not participate, the Warriors still have reason to attend, particularly why the second bubble got created in the first place: the young guys.
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Injuries forced Golden State to bring plenty of young faces on the roster this past season, and this bubble could serve as an evaluation of talent.
Eric Paschall, Golden State’s rookie phenom, put together a stellar campaign before the season halted, and seeing him back in action to continue developing would be a good idea.
The future with the team for the likes of Marquese Chriss, Ky Bowman, Dragan Bender, and several other young players are all questionable at the moment, meaning this bubble could allow them to showcase their talent.
The entire situation would likely play out like a Summer League situation, which would typically be going around soon regardless had it not been for the pandemic. Stars like Curry or Thompson would like opt-out of such an idea, giving the young players all the room to shine.
Golden State’s general manager Bob Myers assured Monte Poole of NBC Sports that if the plan for a second bubble goes through, his team would be in attendance.
“You have to take a step back and say, “We’re going to be good partners,” Myers said last week. “We’re going to do what’s best for the league in a difficult environment.”
It seems that the Warriors will resume play at some point in the coming months, but that does not mean fans should suspect to see the likes of Curry or Thompson on the court.
This team is preparing for a redemption tour next season, and risking the health of their stars for meaningless games would unquestionably be the wrong move.