Warriors

Steph Curry's passing inferior to Trae Young as prospect, Larry Riley says

Steph Curry's passing inferior to Trae Young as prospect, Larry Riley says

The comparisons were inevitable for Trae Young and Steph Curry.

As soon as Young began lighting up social media and became a nightly fixture on SportsCenter with his dazzling highlights at Oklahoma, NBA fans immediately began tabbing the 6-foot-1 point guard as the heir apparent to Curry's limitless range.

Former Warriors general manager Larry Riley was the man who selected Curry back in 2009 at No. 7 overall, and now works in the Atlanta Hawks' front office that nabbed Young at No. 5 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Riley joined KNBR on Monday, and explained that although the two had obvious similarities coming into the NBA, only one aspect of Young's game was more impressive to Riley than Curry when he came out of Davidson.

"The only thing he had over Steph was he's probably a little bit better passer," Riley told Greg Papa and John Lund. "The rest of it, Steph has the advantage. And Trae is still growing into the role that we'd like to see him take, he's done very well with it, and we just hope he continues to progress."

Riley currently serves as the senior adviser to Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk, who worked in the Warriors' front office for over a decade before taking the Atlanta job back in 2017.

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While Steph's legend coming out of college came primarily because of his ability to pull up from all over the court and hit wild 3-point shots, Young's propensity for dimes set social media ablaze on a nightly basis.

Curry averaged just 5.6 assists per game in his junior season at Davidson, while Young was dishing out 8.7 assists per game as a freshman in a very competitive Big 12 Conference,

Young's ability to shoot was no joke either coming out of Oklahoma, and he's even made some bold predictions about usurping Curry as the NBA's best shooter in the very near future. 

At only 21 years old, Young has plenty of time to chase Curry's throne and become the next top point guard in the Association. But for at least the next few years, Curry doesn't sound like he has any interest in giving up that crown.

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

NBA rumors: Warriors wouldn't have let Steph Curry play in Orlando

NBA rumors: Warriors wouldn't have let Steph Curry play in Orlando

The NBA reportedly is considering creating a second "bubble" in Chicago for the eight teams that were not included in the Orlando bubble as part of the league's expanded playoff format. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Thursday that Golden State potentially would participate, despite coach Steve Kerr previously insisting that the Dubs would not be interested in such a setup.

It remains to be seen if the second bubble will actually take place, but even if it does, it sure seems like you won't be seeing Steph Curry play in it. ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reported he wouldn't have played in Orlando had the Warriors qualified, and it begs the question as to why Chicago would be any different.

"I was told unequivocally by people at Golden State," MacMullan said Thursday on the "Hoop Collective" podcast, "if Golden State came back (to play in Orlando) they weren't gonna let Steph Curry step foot on the floor."

"The reason they were worried about Steph Curry," MacMullan added, "was because they didn't feel that he had played enough to come back."

So, there you have it. The Warriors arguably would have very little to gain from participating in the Chicago bubble, and given that there is no championship at stake -- like there is in Orlando -- Golden State doesn't have much motivation to send its star veteran players, especially those that are returning from injury.

Curry played in precisely one of the Warriors' final 61 games before the season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic after returning from a broken wrist. And if he isn't going to play, you can bet Klay Thompson -- who would be returning from a torn ACL -- won't either.

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Draymond Green previously said that he would have played in Orlando, but if the Splash Brothers are out, why would Golden State risk the health of the other remaining piece of its championship core?

The Warriors need to find a way to stay in basketball shape and continue developing chemistry over what is going to be an extremely long layoff before the start of next season. But if Curry, Thompson and Green aren't involved, then that kind of ruins the whole point.

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

Warriors would gain little partaking in NBA's proposed 'second bubble'

Warriors would gain little partaking in NBA's proposed 'second bubble'

Insofar as the Warriors run a fairly democratic operation, with each player having a voice and the core veterans operating as advisers to head coach Steve Kerr, an invitation to become part of a proposed but not approved second NBA “bubble” presents a dilemma.

If mandated by the NBA, they’ll go, whether it’s Chicago or Las Vegas or another site. That the vets – Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson -- would not be expected to play makes the team’s participation cursory, if not downright pointless.

Yet general manager Bob Myers recently said the Warriors would be “team players” and, in the end, do whatever is best for the league.

“You have to take a step back and say, ‘We’re going to be good partners,’” he said in a phone conversation. “We’re going to do what’s best for the league in a difficult environment.”

Understand, the Warriors don’t want to be there -- and why should they? Their 2019-20 season is over, and there is no definitive start date for 2020-2021. They’d be scrimmaging, at potentially increased risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with the crew that absorbed most of the minutes last season.

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

Which brings us to their real desire. They want to gather as a group before the next training camp, currently penciled in for November. Kerr told me a few weeks ago that he “wouldn’t mind” getting his team together for what amounts to a minicamp in the middle of an offseason extended by the pandemic.

Coaches want it, and so do the players. They all would like the experience of playing with each other, which didn’t exist last season. Thompson missed the entire season, and Curry played four games, only one with Andrew Wiggins, who came over in a February trade.

Ideally, that would occur at Chase Center, which has opened for individual activities with attendance limitations but remains suspended for full team activities.

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Should the day come when the current restrictions are relaxed, expect the Warriors to identify a week to get everyone inside. Get Thompson on the floor with Wiggins and others, scrimmaging together for the first time. Evaluate how Curry and Green have responded to the long layoff.

That would be productive, as well as their first blowout activity since early March.

Going into a second bubble, with a stripped-down squad, confined to a hotel for a week or two, is something the Warriors are willing to do. Willing, but hardly eager and barely engaged.