Among the guys up for an extension to their rookie contract, none may be a more interesting case than Stephen Curry of Golden State.
On one hand, he is clearly the guy the Warriors plan to build their backcourt around, having kept him at the point and moved Monta Ellis for a big man (Andrew Bogut). He is an unquestionably talented shooter who could be part of a dangerous backcourt.
On the other hand, for more than a year he has battled ankle issues — two surgeries, a boatload of missed games and more. In theory the operations, combined with rehab, new shoes, better braces and the like should solve the issue. Should. But are you willing to invest tens of millions of dollars over four years on that?
It has kind of been assumed that Curry would not get an extension and as a restricted free agent the market would set his price next summer (the deadline to sign an extension is Oct. 31 at midnight). But there may be more smoke around the extension talks fire, suggests Tim Kawakami at the San Jose Mercury News.
My guess: If Curry stays healthy through October, a deal will get done. He wants a deal, the Warriors want to give him a deal, and usually, when you have those factors, things get done.
It makes sense for both sides, as long as Curry isn’t asking for the moon (doubt he is) and the Warriors aren’t trying to nickel and dime him or are over-worried about the ankle (we’ll see about the ankle).
I’ll guess four years, $42M, with some injury protection in there, but not anything too limiting, announced Oct. 30, just as the Warriors are checking into their hotel for the opener the next night.
That money, starting close to $10 million a year, is about the going rate for someone of Curry’s skill set (and position in the franchise) if he is healthy. The reason for not getting anything done until late October is for the Warriors to see how the ankle plays out. (That and negotiations of any kind almost never really get going until there is a deadline looming.)
My guess is still that he goes to restricted free agency next summer, but there could be motivations on both sides to get a deal done — for Curry to secure the big payday, for the Warriors to get him at a fair price before he has a fantastic season and other teams bid on him. If Curry is healthy signing him now could look like the Celtics signing Rajon Rondo to an extension below market value.
But don’t expect more news on this until you are shopping for your Halloween candy.