Stephen Curry will make his return to the Golden State Warriors lineup on Sunday against the Washington Wizards, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
Why bring Curry back?
Head coach Steve Kerr said last week that Curry was “looking great” and wanted him back on the court this season to get reps with a revamped roster that now includes forward Andrew Wiggins, who was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves before the trade deadline.
“I think it’s important for Steph and Andrew to get to know each other and to play together,” Kerr said. “I think it’s important for Steph to play without all the guys we’ve lost who are not gonna be back next year — Kevin and Andre and Shaun.
“With all these young guys, we’re trying to teach them on the fly, and a lot of things that we have taken for granted over the last five years, we can’t take for granted anymore. Steph needs to feel that himself.”
The Warriors have a league-worst 12-45 record while playing without Curry and Klay Thompson for most of the season. They ruled out Thompson returning from an ACL tear, but are comfortable with Curry’s recovery from his hand injury.
What about the No. 1 draft pick?
With postseason hopes long gone, there’s nothing for the Warriors to play for in the remaining weeks of the regular season. But the team values getting Curry on the court with his teammates more than any potential downside of reducing its chances of landing the top pick in the NBA draft lottery.
Rules implemented last season reduce motivation for teams to tank to the bottom. Each of the league’s three worst teams now have the same odds of landing the top pick instead of the old system that rewarded the league’s worst team with the best odds.
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