Pivot Points: The Warriors Must Trade Stephen Curry for His Game's Sake

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IDecember 28, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in action during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena on December 16, 2009 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors should explore trade options for rookie point guard Stephen Curry, and it has nothing to do with the present or future well-being of the team.

It has everything to do with the growth and maturity of Curry.

Simply put, Golden State has become the place where diversity in a player's game has gone to die, and a young talent like Curry deserves more than he will ever be able to find while trapped within the confines of the Warriors.

You don't believe me?

Look at two other multi-dimensional players for the Warriors who have bundles of talent, but due to circumstances beyond their control have never been able to see their abilities blossom.

Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright came to the Warriors with no verifiable ceiling for the possibilities of their games.

Years later, the lack of growth in each player's game is striking, and neither can be blamed for failing to advance their game's to the next level, rather it is due to the inability of the Warriors to develop talent.

Wright has had to deal with injuries, and that cannot be attributed to the Warriors, but Randolph has been healthy, willing, and able. But because of coach Don Nelson, Randolph has never been given an opportunity to fully discover the realms of his game.

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There are 29 other teams that would love to have Randolph, and would probably do a much better job of bringing him along than Golden State has been able to do.

Curry fits in this same category, and his situation may be more critical because the Warriors depend on him as their starting point guard, responsible for running a team full of individuals with no concept of actual team play.

Take a glance at the Warriors' roster. It's filled with athletically gifted players with the ability to shoot, score, defend, and play at an extremely high level, but for some reason the only thing that manages to come across is the scoring.

The Warriors' best player has been shooting guard Monta Ellis, a player whose first, second, and third options are to shoot the ball regardless of better shots by teammates, and regardless of the flow of the game.

Ellis bickered with Curry earlier in the season and gave the lame excuse of the two guards being too small to co-exist in the same backcourt. Please.

Anyone who is familiar with Ellis could see right through that apparition, and knows that Ellis was afraid Curry and his million dollar shot would take away scoring opportunities for Ellis.

Ellis eventually came around when he realized Curry is a lot more interested in becoming a complete player rather than seizing control of the Warriors, an organization that only resembles an NBA team.

The thing about Curry, though, is that he is beginning to resemble the rest of the players around him, guys whose only responsibility is to score at all costs with no regard to the concept of team basketball.

Seriously, assists happen more by chance than on purpose with the Warriors, and Curry has begun to fall into the same inescapable groove as his teammates.

Could you picture Ellis, or Cory Maggette, or Anthony Morrow going to a team that was based on chemistry and cohesion, rather than shooting the ball as soon as the opportunity presents itself?

Golden State has robbed those players of the chemistry equation of basketball, and the only other player on the roster who possessed it was Stephen Jackson, and he had the sense to get out while he still could.

Curry needs to be given that same chance, because this is not the type of basketball he is used to. Although Curry is a superior scorer, he came from a school that recognized the merits of passing the ball.

At Davidson University, Curry was the team's first option but he had no problem with passing up a shot if a teammate had a better one, and in one game he even refused to take a shot in the second half because the opponents decided to double him.

Could you picture anyone on this current Warriors team sacrificing their own games for the possible good of the team? I can't. Golden State is all about individualism and scoring, with little focus being placed on actual wins.

Curry switched from shooting guard to the point in his junior season at Davidson and his assist totals sprouted to seven per game, and although his turnovers went up as well, it had a lot to do with teammates who were not prepared for his passes.

No such problems in Golden State, where he has a better chance of the earth swallowing him up during a game than receiving the ball back after he has made a pass to a teammate.

It's a shame too, because Curry, so far, has been one of the more enjoyable rookies in the league to watch, a player who has unlimited range on his jumper and plays with a flair and zest that belies his seemingly fragile 6'3" fame.

His numbers are what you would expect from a rookie point guard: 12.1 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and about 44 percent shooting from the floor.

Decent numbers, but as someone who has followed Curry for the majority of his career, I think it's much more telling to notice what has been missing from his game, and it goes beyond anything found on a stat sheet.

Curry was a player who loved playing the game, one of those rare players that oozed passion from his skin and seemed to truly appreciate the opportunity that he had been blessed with.

One could tell there was nothing else Curry would rather be doing than playing basketball, and every time he flashed his winning smile you knew it, but sadly that trait has been diminished.

Golden State can do that to you; rob you of the very reason you play the game and leave you a shell of your former self, with no hopes of becoming the type of player that your skills suggest.

Curry would have been much better off being drafted by the Knicks, because even though they are also a poor team, they emphasize passing to create opportunities, and actually try to play as a team.

The best thing the Warriors could do for Curry right now is to absolve him of the hopeless responsibility of running their team, and give the young guy a chance to become a true player.

Considering all of the other careers that the Warriors have destroyed, it's the least they could do. Give him the chance that they have taken from so many other players who didn't deserve to be stuck there in the first place.

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