The Golden State Warriors entered the season with at least a shred of hope for contention. They still had Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, after all, and that core had won a championship and 73 games in a regular season. But when those hopes were dashed following a miserable start, Golden State easily could have decided to punt away the entire season and put its three superstars on ice until next season.
According to Steve Kerr, however, that isn't exactly what they're planning to do. He revealed on an appearance on Chris Haynes' Posted Up podcast that while Thompson probably isn't going to suit up this season, Curry will "for sure" play again this year.
"His injury is not nearly as serious as Klay's because we're dealing with a hand and not a knee," Kerr said. "We'll reevaluate Steph at some time in February, but I think there's an excellent chance that he comes back some time in March, late in the season, which we would all welcome. I think our fans deserve to see him play. He's dying to play. Our young players want to play with him, so if we can get him back at the end of the season I think that would be great."
The Warriors are already 8.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, so Curry's return is unlikely to push them back into the hunt so late in the season. It does offer intangible benefits, though. The Warriors obviously plan to have Curry in the fold next season, so seeing which of the young players that have led the team this season fit with him could provide a meaningful blueprint to building next year's roster. It also gives him time to get used to playing in NBA games again after suffering a hand injury that could, theoretically, impact his shooting. If there are kinks to work out, doing so this season, when the stakes are so low, makes sense.
Golden State is going to get a high draft pick this offseason. That much is essentially already assured. Given the flattened lottery odds introduced last year, a few extra wins doesn't figure to hurt the Warriors too much. The benefits of bringing Curry back outweigh those of a few extra ping pong balls in May. If he is healthy enough to play, he should play, and according to Kerr, the Warriors plan to let him play.