The Golden State Warriors currently have the best record in the NBA at 16-2, and they’ve won 12 straight games after struggling to find their rhythm out of the gates with new pieces Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia. They are the odds-on favorites to win the 2017 NBA Championship after reaching the NBA Finals in each of the last two seasons including winning the 2015 title.
Why would any player want to leave a situation like the one in Golden State?
Well, for Stephen Curry it might be a little more complicated than that.
According to ESPN, Curry will be eligible for a five-year $165 million max contract following the 2016-17 season. While that certainly is a lot of dough for one player, Curry might be one of the few players in the NBA who actually deserves that type of deal after what he’s done since joining the Warriors.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 24, 2016
Since being selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry has won two MVP awards, been selected to three All-Star teams, made two All-NBA first teams, led the NBA in scoring in 2015-16, broken the NBA record for most three-pointers in a season, and led the Warriors to their first NBA title since 1975.
There’s a better than average chance that both Durant and Curry will be free agents next offseason which could produce a changing of the guard for the Golden State Warriors depending on what happens this season.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 24, 2016
If things don’t work out, and the Warriors get knocked out early in the playoffs, it’s conceivable that one or both players could choose to leave Golden State. However unlikely this scenario may seem at this time, it’s certainly a possibility and something that Curry was asked about in an interview with the Charlotte Observer‘s Scott Fowler.
“Obviously I love it here in the Bay Area,” Curry said. “It’s all I’ve known in the league. And if the situation is right going forward, this is a place I would love to play.”
Now, you may be asking yourself: why is Stephen Curry doing an interview with a newspaper in Charlotte? It’s because Curry grew up in Charlotte where his father, Dell, played for the Charlotte Hornets from 1988-98. Stephen went to high school in Charlotte and even went to college at Davidson College which is a mere 20 miles from Charlotte via I-77.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 26, 2016
So, would Stephen ever consider playing for the Hornets?
“I don’t know,” he said.
Curry went on to tell Fowler that earlier in his career there was a point that he would’ve been more open to the possibility.
— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) November 30, 2016
“Obviously I had a strong tie to Charlotte and would have loved to play there. I’m very comfortable in that city. It’s hard to say exactly what the situation will be this summer.”
Curry was quick to point out that he’s trying not to think too much about free agency and just focus on the season.
“It’s on my radar,” he said, “but it’s not really on my mind as much day-to-day. I’m just trying to enjoy what this season is going to bring.”
— theScore (@theScore) November 30, 2016
“I don’t want to worry about free agency,” Curry added, “until hopefully we’re celebrating some good things in the summer.”
For what it’s worth, Fowler added in his article that he gets the feeling that “Barring an enormous turn of events, Curry and Golden State are joined at the hip and will be for the next few seasons. But Curry isn’t saying “no” in part because it wouldn’t be smart business to close off every avenue when he might soon be signing what could be the richest deal in NBA history.”
The summer of 2017 could certainly be a nail-biting time for Golden State Warriors fans as they wait to find out whether Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant will re-sign with the team.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]