The Golden State Warriors will shortly begin the path through the 2021 offseason, and Stephen Curry‘s contract situation sits at the top of the agenda. With that in mind, the resolution may lie with the Warriors making NBA history.
Stephen Curry’s contract situation
After the Warriors’ 2020-21 campaign came to an abrupt end, the focus quickly shifted directly to Curry‘s contract situation.
The 32-year-old’s remarkable season further underlined the importance of securing a new long-term deal. Curry is heading into the final campaign of his five-year, $201.1 million contract.
He is eligible to receive a four-year extension worth roughly $215.4 million. Meanwhile, Golden State continues to air optimism coupled with Curry echoing a similar sentiment.
All that leads to the front office needing to make NBA history to keep their star guard.
The Warriors will need to make NBA history to keep Stephen Curry
The Warriors are well aware of the big elephant in the room.
Curry‘s decision to wait another year places on the table the opportunity for him to become the first player to secure two different $200 million deals. During an interview on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin radio show, longtime reporter Brian Windhorst stated that he couldn’t envision Curry turning down a four-year extension worth nearly $215 million.
“If he’s offered him the max, which is at $215 million extension for four years, I don’t see why he wouldn’t commit,” Windhorst said. “He’s beloved there and had great success there. I’m sure he believes in the franchise. The franchise has been extremely well-capitalized.
“The question is are they going to offer him that max contract. In the past, the Warriors have been shrewd negotiators. They got Kevin Durant to take a couple of years less than max contracts. They got Andre Iguodala to maneuver his contract around. So do they come to him and try to appeal to him and say, “Hey can you take a little less than the max so we can try to build this team over the next four years?'”
Windhorst added that the real question lies with the franchise’s direction regarding James Wiseman and its two 2021 first-round draft picks (barring the Minnesota Timberwolves moving into the top three during the draft lottery and retaining their selection). Keep in mind, head coach Steve Kerr admitted last month that Wiseman’s developmental timeline doesn’t line up with Curry’s, which suggests he could become a trade piece.
The 32-year-old wants to compete for more NBA titles while he’s still playing at the top of his game. The Warriors want to maximize that window, which could become the bargaining chip that secures Curry’s long-term commitment.
He already holds tremendous confidence that the front office can construct a championship-contending roster. It may be a matter of seeing that game plan unfold again.
Golden State aiming to build an NBA title contender
As Windhorst alluded to during his ESPN radio interview, the Warriors have other critical decisions to make.
The front office must make a pivotal decision ahead with Kelly Oubre Jr., who can become an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer. Oubre performed better as the season rolled along, but his role will change significantly if he returns, likely involving him coming off the bench behind Klay Thompson.
Beyond that, the Warriors must decide what direction they will head with the rest of the roster. Golden State possesses a largely youthful group, which includes some potentially appealing trade pieces. Wiseman sits atop the list while two top-14 picks in this year’s draft add another layer of intrigue.
Depending on where their first-round pick from the Timberwolves lands, it alone could fetch a strong trade package. The Warriors must decide if they want to build with their youth or use it to acquire proven veteran talent.
The latter is the more likely option, especially with their three core players (Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green) all in their early 30s. Ultimately, time will tell what the Warriors will do to keep their star point guard aboard.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.