Warriors

NBA odds: Steph Curry given fourth-best chance to win MVP in 2019-20

NBA odds: Steph Curry given fourth-best chance to win MVP in 2019-20

Steph Curry will have to score a lot of points for the Warriors to win next season. A whole lot. 

Even if the Warriors re-sign Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in free agency -- which they hope to do -- that won't help him for the 2019-20 season. Durant will miss the entire season with a ruptured right Achilles and Thompson will be out until at least February or March with a torn left ACL

Though defenses will flock to stop Curry, expect the star point guard to put up huge scoring numbers. Likely due to the absence of his co-stars, Curry has the fourth-best odds win the NBA MVP next season, according to Caesars Palace sportsbook. 

Curry's odds at winning the award are currently at +600, which places his behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard. But Curry is ahead of LeBron James and his newest Lakers teammate, Anthony Davis.

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Even with Durant and Thompson in the fold, Curry still averaged 27.3 points per game in the 2018-19 season. That number was good for the second-highest of his career, and nearly four points higher than his first MVP (23.7 points per game) in the 2014-15 season. 

If Curry does win, he'd become the ninth player in NBA history to be voted MVP at least three times.

Why Warriors' Ron Adams believes 'sky is limit' for Andrew Wiggins

Why Warriors' Ron Adams believes 'sky is limit' for Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins has always been full of potential, he just couldn't realize it in Minnesota while playing for a Timberwolves team that ranged from awful to dysfunctional.

Now a Warrior, Wiggins will have a great opportunity to improve his game and become the player many expected him to be when he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. When the Warriors acquired Wiggins in the D'Angelo Russell deal at the trade deadline, many saw Wiggins and his contract as trade bait to acquire another star to pair with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

But others saw Wiggins skill and his potential and envisioned him becoming a centerpiece of the Warriors' dynastic reboot. Bench coach Ron Adams certainly is among those who are thrilled to have Wiggins now call the Bay home.

“I really thought he did a good job for us,” Adams told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show" podcast. “People always look at scoring or shooting. I didn’t think he shot the ball very consistently from the perimeter. But good grief, he really showed himself to be a really, really outstanding all-around player. I was particularly pleased with his defense, especially on the ball. I just thought he did a really good job. And against the best players in the league, he really enjoys playing against them and actually picks his game up when he did play against those guys. I thought his floor game was good -- his passing, his penetrating.

“The sky’s the limit for this guy. … He walks onto the floor and he scores 20 points," Adams continued. "There are areas that he can get a lot better in, there’s no question about that. I think he can rebound the ball better. He’s got a nice perimeter shot, but he’s got to groove it a little more, he’s got to get a little more consistency in his delivery and, in my estimation at least, using his lower body into the shot. When he does that, he seldom misses. But he’s been inconsistent on that.”

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

In 12 games with the Warriors before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Wiggins averaged 19.4 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor and 33.9 percent from 3-point range. Wiggins showcased his talent and his inconsistency during the start of his Warriors tenure, but most believe his game will continue to improve once Curry and Thompson return next season. His passing and defense really stood out in his first 12 games and those skills should fit nicely alongside two of the best shooters in NBA history.

“I was elated to get him into our program,” Adams said. “I think he’s a star player. I think he’s gonna flourish with more shooting on the floor. But I was personally really happy with the all-around nature of his game and what he showed in that regard more so that his scoring, even.”

Wiggins appears to be a much fit for the Warriors' system than Russell, whose ball-dominant offensive game and lackadaisical defensive nature clashed with the foundation of the Warriors' success. Wiggins is a rangy defender who can guard anywhere from one to four. On the offensive end, he can facilitate or operate off the ball as will be the case once Curry returns. His outside shooting needs to improve but his slashing ability and athleticism have him reminding some of Harrison Barnes during his time with the Warriors.

Wiggins' $31.5 million a year contract makes him a possible trade chip as Warriors fans continue to dream of bringing Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Bay. But dealing Wiggins won't be the only move required to bring in Antetokounmpo and build a team around him and Curry. It likely would require the Warriors moving on from Thompson, an idea that isn't appealing to most.

[RELATED: Steph reacts to Dame's comments on 'meaningless' games]

The best way for the Warriors to reboot their dynasty quickly to maximize the remaining prime of Curry, Thompson and Green, is to have Wiggins elevate his game and become a core piece of the next wave of the dynasty.

What Wiggins showcased in Minnesota isn't the player he's destined to be. His future still is bright and the Warriors are the perfect team to maximize the untapped potential that the Timberwolves couldn't bring to the surface.

Steph Curry knows Warriors are 'unbelievably hungry' for next season

Steph Curry knows Warriors are 'unbelievably hungry' for next season

Even with Kevin Durant gone. Even with Klay Thompson hurt. Even with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston gone.

Steph Curry had one objective in his mind going into the 2019-20 NBA season: Get to the playoffs, anything can happen. 

"If we were to have this conversation back in November, I was still in that championship hunger type of mode," Curry said on the "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack. "It was just framed around a bunch of new faces, a bunch of young guys, obviously KD leaving ... let's just get to the playoffs and obviously when we get there let's just get Klay back and we know what type of team we're gonna be, and we're gonna be a hard out and we can surprise a lot of people." 

It's unclear if the Warriors' season will continue, even with the NBA likely resuming its season next month in Orlando. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that owner Joe Lacob told his fellow team owners that Golden State is "willing" to play if all 30 NBA teams were asked to play. But Wojnarowski also reported, citing sources, that the Warriors have been "far more cool to the idea in private."

When they are back on the floor, especially next season with a clean slate, Curry says the Warriors will be back in championship mode. 

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"When we get back, one we're gonna be happy just playing basketball. But two, unbelievably hungry," Curry said. "If you look at myself, Draymond, Klay -- we were there at the beginning of this run and I get to kind of be the elder statesman to recreate it." 

The Warriors can roll out a lineup that has Curry, a healthy Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Green, plus a top draft pick and there's the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer.

[RELATED: Steph reacts to Dame's comments on 'meaningless games']

To say the least, Curry likes the Warriors' odds of contending for a title once again in the near future.

"You look at the lineup that we could potentially put out there next year, I like it," he said with a smile.