I hate Stephen Curry’s contract.
Curry signed a four-year, $44 million extension in 2012 – after a series of ankle injuries. That extenuating circumstance allowed the Warriors to pay Curry a team-friendly salary now that Curry has seemingly put his injury issues behind him.
But whenever another player’s salary is being discussed, someone inevitably mentions, “If Stephen Curry makes $11 million per year…” as if that has anything to do with any other situation. Curry’s extension was a complete outlier, irrelevant to other negotiations. His salary has nothing to do with market value. It just annoyingly provides fodder for foolish arguments.
Curry, the one actually stuck making less than he’s now worth, doesn’t hold nearly as much disdain for the extension.
“Yeah, you expect to continue to get better,” Curry told Sporting News when asked about outplaying the deal. “Obviously, I was in a unique situation, one that I was very comfortable with the decision I made coming off the ankle surgeries.
“I was confident I’d be able to get back, but I didn’t know how long the road was going to be to get back to 100 percent and take my game to the next level. But four years is a long time and you hope you can prove that you’re that max type of player and talent.”
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to capitalize down the road, but I never second-guessed my decision at the time and I still haven’t because I thought it was the right one at the time. I’m healthy and playing well and my team is winning. That’s all I’m really worried about.”
When Curry got the extension, Kurt Helin said the Warriors should have let Curry hit restricted free agency rather than offering him that deal. Brett Pollakoff wrote, “The deal seems like a better one for Curry than it does for the Warriors on the surface.” These opinions were hardly out of line at the time.
Now, Curry is making a case as the NBA’s top point guard. He finished sixth in MVP voting last season, and he’s playing even better this year. His Warriors might be the best team in basketball.
He’s worth a max contract.
As Curry seems to understand, though, the extension is just a reflection of his value in October 2012 and nothing more. Curry can’t become a free agent until 2017, but then, his value should remain much higher.