The past few seasons have been rocky, to say the least, for the Golden State Warriors. However, with the NBA Draft coming up and with two key pieces in Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut as a foundation, hopes are high for the Dubs and their fans.
Just this past March, it didn't seem so clear that the Warriors were sold on building around Curry, since there were trade rumors swirling around about possibly dealing for veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. As the trade deadline came and passed though, Golden State found themselves with Ellis leaving town instead of Curry.
While this trade may have shocked some Warriors fans and broken the hearts of others, the team's decision to move forward with Curry as the franchise centerpiece was the right one. Ellis is certainly a very talented and often under-appreciated player, but as Curry continues to develop into the primary scoring option on the Warriors, they decided they needed to give up some scoring to try and bolster their shallow front court.
Something Curry hasn't had in his short NBA tenure thus far is to have two reliable big men on the court at the same time. David Lee has been the go-to big man for Golden State, with little to no help from teammates like ex-Warrior Ekpe Udoh, Andris Biedrins and Kwame Brown.
While Bogut has been marred by injury for a solid portion of his career, he still has shown that he can play well when healthy. His solid rebounding ability paired with Lee should make them a force on the glass and down low in the offensive post game.
This should bring a smile to Curry's face, since he has had to pass to power forwards or centers in the post who simply couldn't get it done consistently. A great example of this is illustrated in this low-light video of Andris Biedrins, who started 35 games for Golden State last season.
Now with the pairing of Bogut and Lee, and the prospect of getting more help out of the draft, Curry could thrive and progress more in his own offensive game—thus helping both himself and the team.
If the Warriors did decide to deal Curry in that rumored Rondo trade, things would not have been so optimistic for Golden State.
Rondo is certainly an elite point guard who can dominate games on his own, but he wouldn't have fit in with the Warriors as nicely as he currently fits in on the Celtics. He facilitates offenses well and works best out of a half-court style offense.
However, the Warriors play more of an uptempo pace compared to what the Celtics play, and Rondo doesn't have a strong enough offensive prowess to really reach his full potential in that sort of system.
Curry is more suited to a style such as this, since he has a lethal shooting touch and plenty of quickness to force the defense to adjust on the fast break or in transition.
Aside from that, Curry is still developing and is only 24 years old, so making a move like this, because of one bad injury to Curry's ankle, might have been detrimental to Golden State's current rebuilding plans.
The purpose of rebuilding a team is to put in place a young core of talent that can continue to have consistent success for the future. If Rondo was in Curry's place, he would have to adapt to their system, and the Warriors would essentially be trying to jam a puzzle piece in a place where it just doesn't quite fit.
However, there's no need to worry about those what-if scenarios now, since Golden State has demonstrated their full trust in Curry to lead this team for the future, by keeping him and dealing long-time Warrior Monta Ellis instead.
This was a tough decision for their front office to make, with Ellis being a great contributor and fan favorite over his seven seasons as a Warrior, but it had to be done if this team wants to stop treading water and start swimming forward.
Curry as a centerpiece puts a lot of pressure on him but it's something I think he could handle with poise. He was obviously the focal point on offense in his college days at Davidson, so being a team's go-to guy on offense isn't exactly a foreign idea for Curry. Additionally, unlike his college years, Curry will have some more help on both sides of the ball so he won't be destroying himself to keep a team afloat.
That's the whole point of having a centerpiece—to put strong supporting pieces around it to make for the best product.
With the team in one of the best positions in recent memory to climb out of the depths of the Western Conference, hopes are high once again in the Bay Area and the fans are still believing in the Dubs.
Stephen Curry is holding the reins of the Warriors franchise, and the team is looking to him to steer them back to the playoffs.
As far as I'm concerned, he's the right man for the job.