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Warriors may shut down Stephen Curry, can look forward to questions about tanking if they do

Mar 14, 2012, 5:20 PM EDT

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Stephen Curry has had a hard time staying healthy. He’s tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle more times this season than we’d like to count, including in Phoenix back on Feb. 22, and most recently in a win over the Mavericks on March 10.

With the Warriors making the deal Tuesday that sent Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee in exchange for an injured Andrew Bogut who isn’t likely to play this season, my man Matt Steinmetz of says the team may considering shutting Curry down for the rest of the season to see if some rest can heal that ankle more permanently.

When Curry was asked about his status for the rest of the season, he responded: “I’m just trying to get healthy. I’m getting fed up with dealing with the same thing over and over again and trying to push through it and not being able to produce like I want to on the floor.

“That’s my main goal, to get healthy. What that means I’m not sure yet. I’ll continue to do my rehab and my treatment and listen to the (training) staff. I’m sure we’ll have a better idea what we’re going to do going forward later.”

Trading Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh – two starters – to the Bucks indicates that the Warriors have given up their pursuit of the playoffs. If that’s the case, it likely also makes sense for the Warriors to shut down Curry.

If the Warriors no longer have a legitimate shot at making the postseason, then it makes sense to take their time with Curry’s injury, and sitting him the rest of the season might even be the smart decision. But there is one other component to this, and it involves Golden State’s draft pick for 2012, and whether or not they get to use it.

The Warriors traded the rights to this year’s pick to New Jersey back in 2008, and the Nets flipped it to Utah last season in the Deron Williams deal. The pick is protected, and the Jazz only get it if the Warriors’ draft position is eighth or worse.

If Golden State should suddenly start to slide in the standings, and ends up as one of the seven worst teams in the league, their chances in the draft lottery would be pretty strong of getting to pick no lower than seventh — which would mean they’d get to keep that 2012 draft pick for themselves.

Curry’s injury history with that ankle is legitimate, of course, and it probably won’t be too difficult to find multiple medical professionals to sign off on the organization’s idea to sit him for the rest of the year. But questions of tanking are sure to arise if this is the course that Golden State decides to take — not only from crazed fans of the Utah Jazz, but maybe from some front office executives around the league, as well.

  1. gmsalpha - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    At least the NBA has a draft lottery. Tanking in the NBA is no guarantee of your position come draft time, the way it is with the NFL. You can tank all you want, have a Bobcats-like record and still end up selecting 5th or 6th.

    • boiler72 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Exactly. Like the stupid Bulls getting Derrick Rose, when they didn’t even have the worst record at all. The lottery is a load of crap and it needs to be gotten rid of. No other pro sports league does this.

      • plum13sec - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        But then how would david stern fix the league so easily?!

    • SOBEIT - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      I think you are missing the point. The reason for tanking is not to get a high draft pick via lottery, it is to keep their only 1st round pick. If they perform too well, Denver get’s the Warriors draft pick. Slot 1-7…Warriors keep the pick. Slot 8+…Denver gets the pick. So tanking will guarantee one thing, the Warriors will get a top 7 pick.

  2. joeksnuffy - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    The warriors should shut Curry down now. Bogut should definitely sit for the duration. Beidrins should start and play 40 minutes a game. Stephen Jackson should pretend to have a locker room meltdown so they can blame some losses on “chemistry”. Let the tanking begin!!, however blatant that may be. They owe it to their fans to do whatever it takes, fair or unfair, to win after so many years of disappointment.

  3. thekingdave - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM


    The worst team in the NBA drafts no lower than 4th

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