As you may have heard, the Warriors arranged a way to put probably the second- and third-best NBA players on one team, signing Kevin Durant in free agency. However, two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry does not have a long-term deal with the two-time defending Western Conference champions.
Signed to a below-market deal before the cap ballooned to its unprecedented place this summer, Curry is set to play the final season of a four-year, $44 million deal — one that looks like a misprint in today’s salary landscape for those unfamiliar with his contract.
Golden State’s cornerstone player acknowledged he might talk to Durant about how to handle the questions throughout the season in other cities as he prepares to play on an expiring contract but did not deviate from his stance of wanting to stay with the Warriors beyond the 2016-17 season.
“Maybe,” Curry said Tuesday (via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News) of whether or not he’ll ask Durant about handling the process, “but I’m not gonna let it distract me at all. I want to be back here. I like playing here.”
Curry’s deal places him among strange company in terms of average annual value. Curry’s $11 million annually places him alongside Joe Johnson and Tyreke Evans and puts him behind numerous players who are not on his tier — among point guards, he’s 19th, sitting behind Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Lin and many others. Mike Conley’s deal, which pays him just more than $30 million per year on average, is nearly triple what Curry’s being paid.
But the 28-year-old superstar signed the deal when he was experiencing chronic ankle trouble. Nevertheless, he’ll be the most pursued free agent if he reaches the 2017 market. He will receive a max contract, barring something catastrophic, from in all likelihood the Warriors. But other teams will surely be monitoring this situation to see how the newly arranged Warriors co-exist this season.