DONE DEAL: Golden State Warriors Exploring Trade Options for Underperforming Veterans in Effort to Elevate Team Performance”?

The Golden State Warriors have endured a disappointing and painful season. Following a 5-1 start to the season, the Warriors have gone 14-22 since and sit in 12th place in the Western Conference, four games back in the win column from tenth place.

Repeated suspensions from Draymond Green, poor play from entrenched starters, injuries, and the tragic loss of assistant coach Dejan Milojević have the Warriors in position for their worst season with a healthy Stephen Curry in over a decade.

Steph Curry’s nightly burden is weighing on him

The burden of carrying the Warriors on a nightly basis seems to be wearing on Curry, with Anthony Slater of The Athletic telling the  Hoops Hype podcast, “He’s been frustrated with the season.”

Slater elaborated further on Curry’s internal angst, saying, “There have been frustrations with Draymond [Green] missing over half the season due to suspensions. He does not like where their record is.”

While the Warriors’ poor record is reason enough for frustration, the persistent absence of Green to suspension and Chris Paul to injury have also taken their toll on Curry statistically.

Over his first 20 games, he averaged 29.4 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.6 turnovers per game on 43.2 percent three-point shooting, but he has seen his scoring slump over his ensuing 19 games, averaging 24.1 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.4 turnovers on 36.7 percent 3-point shooting. Without Paul or Green in the fold, Curry has had to be the Warriors’ primary play maker, which has marginally improved his passing numbers but has tanked his scoring efficiency.

The recent downturn in Curry’s performance has him pondering the later stages of his career, according to Slater:

“I think he feels a level of career mortality, although his prime has extended extremely long and doesn’t look like it’s ending any time in the very near future. There still is a career mortality when you’re 35 years old, so he wants to compete now.”

The Warriors are running out of time to build another winner for Steph Curry

Curry’s “career mortality” may be the realization that he alone cannot power a team to contention. While Curry is no longer the singular offensive force he was at his peak, he is still great enough to be the leader of a championship contender.

The Warriors, in an effort to open their championship window in the waning years of Curry’s prime, made significant roster changes in the summer that were backed by Curry.

“He was in on the decisions this summer, including the [Jordan] Poole for [Chris] Paul swap and the prioritizing of more veterans. Getting Dario Saric in here. They talked preseason, including from him, how much they love the roster. That roster that the players love and Curry loves just hasn’t performed,” Slater told the Hoops Hype podcast.

The Warriors and Curry have the same vision for how his career should end. They both want to be in contention for the ultimate prize, but nothing has gone according to plan this season. The Warriors have 40 games to turn around their season, and with their most important player sensing that the end may be near, big changes could be coming. Whether or not it happens before the trade deadline remains to be seen, but the Warriors should view Curry’s mortality as their own.

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