NAPA -- Stephen Curry and the Warriors find themselves in unique territory.
No longer the prohibitive NBA championship favorites, they will be without stalwarts Klay Thompson (knee surgery), Durant (sign and trade to the Brooklyn Nets) and Andre Iguodala (traded to the Memphis Grizzlies) to open the 2019-20 NBA season.
Iguodala's absence is particularly noteworthy because the Warriors haven't won a championship without him, and his influence was the glue that kept the locker room together since he signed in 2014. His leadership extended from the team's young prospects to its star-studded core.
Though Iguodala, who still lives in the Bay Area, was shipped to the Grizzlies in June, he has yet to report to the team, and has been in regular contact with Warriors players, including Curry and Kevon Looney. Iguodala even told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on Sunday that, in a recent conversation with Looney, "it was like I forget that I’m not on the same team."
Curry, speaking Wednesday after his Safeway Open Pro-Am round, seemingly agrees with that sentiment.
"I honestly haven't felt it," he said. "Yet."
"We haven't been in camp," Curry added. "Monday or Tuesday will be a real shell-shock in terms of his presence being missed and how much he's meant to our team. I've played golf with him three times over the summer. We'll feel it."
The Daily Memphian reported Monday that Iguodala and the Grizzlies agreed that the forward would not report to training camp while he waits for a trade or a buyout. While unlikely, it's possible that Iguodala could return to the Warriors. If he's traded again and receives a buyout from the team that acquires him, he could rejoin Golden State for the veteran minimum.
"A lot of if's, man," Curry said of the possibility.
But would he welcome the reunion?
"What?" Curry answered rhetorically with a blank stare. "Of course, man."
Curry has embraced his new group, though. Last month, he stopped by trainer Patrick Turner's Unlimited Potential in Burlingame for a late-night pickup run that featured two of those young players: Jordan Poole and Omari Spellman. That session left Curry intrigued.
"I just like the excitement," Curry said. "It's a brand-new situation, opportunity for every single one of them, all the way down the line. So, camp will be fun. It will be a different vibe in terms of building chemistry, building fundamentals, and guys just competing and battling and earning their spot on the floor.
"All of that is exciting. I know we have a lot of promise, a lot of guys that can play huge roles for us, and they're going to have to."