Stephen Curry‘s four-year, $44 million rookie-scale contract extension played a huge role in turning the Warriors into the juggernaut they’ve become.
Curry accepted that modest deal due to a series of ankle injuries, but mostly healthy since, he has developed into one of the NBA’s best players. His massive discount left Golden State room to sign Andre Iguodala then Kevin Durant.
The Warriors finally got an opportunity to reward Curry this summer, and they did with a five-year, $201,158,790 contract.
Yet, perhaps Curry nearly got less.
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic:
On top of that, as the Warriors prepared for the postseason, Warriors owner Joe Lacob was considering offering Curry a contract below the max, even though Curry has been one of the most underpaid players in all of sports over the last three seasons. Warriors general manager Bob Myers kept Lacob from bringing a reduced offer to the negotiating table, but it was enough of a thing that Myers reassured Curry of the franchise’s commitment.
I don’t blame Lacob for considering offering less. Not only did Golden State offer the premier situation for Curry, the new super-max rules allowed the Warriors to pay him $73,328,820 more total and $8,274,266 more annually than any other team could offer. Was it really necessary to pay Curry so much?
Probably not, but it’s a good look for a franchise that underpaid Curry for so long and wants to maintain goodwill. It doesn’t hurt that Kevin Durant took a discount.
Curry said he also offered to take one, but that Myers turned him down. Perhaps, Curry’s offer was contingent on his discount being required to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. (Part of Durant’s discount accomplished that. Part of it was just a money transfer to ownership.) There was no feasible way Curry’s contract would affect Iguodala’s and Livingston’s Bird Rights, though.
Still, a discount could have trimmed Golden State’s luxury-tax bill – which is already sizable and could get massive as Draymond Green and Klay Thompson come up for new deals.
I wonder how Myers explained rejecting Curry’s discount offer to Lacob.