Golden State Warriors: Evaluating Stephen Curry’s Financial Future With the Team

Recently on the Bill Simmons podcast, three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry was asked by Simmons if he wanted to stay with the Warriors or if he would want to retire for his hometown team, the Charlotte Hornets.

Curry’s answer was all we needed to know what his thoughts on the topic:

“I love the Bay Area, man. The only reason I go home [to Charlotte] is if my sister’s getting married or to go play the Hornets for that one game, so I haven’t really been back much. I haven’t put my mind there.”

For all of the detractors that want to see the Warriors’ empire crumble to rubble, Curry, the fulcrum of this engine doesn’t seem to want to leave and that’s a good thing for the Warriors franchise.

Retiring with the Warriors is a rarity as the only player who played his whole career with the Warriors (that is the Philadelphia Warriors), is small forward Paul Arizin. But in the modern era, Curry would be the first to play his whole career with the Warriors, as Rick Barry played 13 seasons with the Warriors, but not his whole career.

Now, let’s get to how Curry can remain a Warrior for the rest of his career.

In the summer of 2017, after the Warriors won their second title in three years, Curry signed a mountainous contract that will last for five seasons and is worth $201 million. During this past season in 2017-2018, he made $34,682,550.

His remaining four years on the contract are:

(via basketball-reference.com)

His salary increases almost $3 million per year over the next four years, a hefty contract for Joe Lacob’s wallet. That’s a big salary to overcome, in addition to the contracts of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant.

Thompson’s contract is up next summer in 2019, but he has reiterated that he wanted to stay with the franchise for the rest of his career. He’s a difficult player to find in the draft with his low maintenance style of just needing a foot of space to catch-and-shoot. He does not need the ball in his hands to be an effective offensive player.

Green’s contract is up the summer after in 2020. It is rumored that he will not sign a contract extension because if he receives the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or All-NBA honors next year, he’ll be eligible to sign a super-max contract that would last five years and would be worth $226 million.

Green’s original contract extension that he is eligible to sign this offseason is a three-year deal worth $72 million and it would kick in during the 2020-2021 season. It would certainly hurt Golden State’s chances of being a title contender if Green signed somewhere else because of the jack-of-all-trades attributes he provides the Warriors.

Durant’s contract is up next season after signing another one-plus-one contract, which is signing for a year and leaving the second year as an option of re-signing for the same contract or a max contract. Every offseason since he joined the Warriors has been a one-plus-one contract, which offers intrigue and fear that he might leave. He is a once-in-a-generation type talent that decided to join an up-and-coming dynasty with homegrown stars heading into their primes.

If Thompson and Green were to stay with the franchise, but Durant left, the Warriors would still have a title contending team. The team would be just how it was pre-Durant, but with more experience from winning playoff series and championships. This would help Curry commit long-term to some one-year deals as he gets older and loses some of his mobility as a guard. These deals would be essentially what Tim Duncan did for so long with the Spurs.

If Durant does leave, but the other two homegrown stars stay, it would give Curry an incentive to stay in the Bay Area: make millions and contend for titles for years to come, as well as continuing to raise his family there.

When it’s all said and done, Stephen Curry might be the greatest to put on a Warrior uniform, and the best part: he would be one of the few players to stay with the franchise for his whole career.

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