The Golden State Warriors need a win in their final game of 2023-24 to potentially improve their chances of advancing the past play-in tournament. Given the postseason ‘gauntlet' the Dubs will face regardless, they've chosen to prioritize to rest ahead of getting a victory in the regular season finale.

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will sit out their team's matchup with the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Chase Center due to rest, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

The status of Curry and Green comes as no surprise in wake of Steve Kerr's comments following the Warriors' crucial home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, a defeat that severely diminished their odds of finishing better than ninth or 10th in the Western Conference. More eyebrow raising than Golden State's two best players not taking the floor against Utah is that the team's other thirtysomething future Hall-of-Famers, Klay Thompson and Chris Paul, are primed to play.

“Oh, hell yeah,” Kerr responded Friday when asked if he was considering resting players vs. the Jazz. “I mean, you prefer to stay at home, but if you look at what we're facing, it's a gauntlet. You got two play-in games, and then if you win those two, you got a Game 1 48 hours after that. I'm much more interested in our ability to be ready for next week, but we've gotta wait and see how everything shakes out.”

Thompson and Paul, like Jonathan Kuminga, are still listed as questionable on Golden State's latest injury report with left knee tendonitis and left hamstring tightness, respectively. But both are “expected to play” on Sunday despite those designations, according to the Athletic, while Kuminga will reportedly test his readiness pregame amid a right pelvic contusion before his status is decided. Gary Payton II has already been ruled out due to a left calf strain.

The Warriors and Jazz tipoff at 12:30 p.m. (PT).

Warriors play-in seeding scenarios on final day of regular season

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) talks with forward Draymond Green (23) after a timeout against the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter at the Chase Center
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State doesn't just need a win over Utah to rise from 10th in the Western Conference standings on a frantic final day of the regular season. The Sacramento Kings, tied with the Dubs at 45-36 but owning the tiebreaker due to division record, also must lose to the Portland Trail Blazers for Curry and company to surpass them in the standings, highly unlikely given the Blazers' recent struggles and Kings' motivation to host the 9-10 play-in game or avoid it altogether by nabbing the eight-seed.

The Warriors are technically still alive for No. 8, too, but would need losses from both the Kings and Los Angeles Lakers—facing a critical road matchup with the New Orleans on Sunday—to vault two spots up the standings and travel to face either the Pelicans or Phoenix Suns on the road in the 7-8 play-in clash, the winner of which will advance to the playoffs.

A win for Golden State in the season finale is virtually assured even without the services of Curry and Green. Why? Not just because Utah will again sit Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson and Walker Kessler, but due to the Jazz's preference to retain their top-10 protected first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Will Hardy's team currently owns the eighth-highest lottery odds and risks tying the Brooklyn Nets for ninth with a win on Sunday.

Does resting Curry and Green increase the possibility of another Warriors letdown at Chase Center? No doubt. But considering the Kings are all but assured a victory and Utah has no motivation for an upset win, prioritizing the health of Curry and Green—who have dealt with nagging ankle and back injuries over the last couple years—is a prudent decision for Golden State ahead of a seemingly inevitable do-or-die 9-10 matchup with the Lakers or Kings.