If Stephen Curry hadn’t signed his early contract extension last year, the Golden State Warriors would be dealing with a restricted free agent right now. In what is arguably one of the smartest moves by this current management, by using the team’s bird rights and doing a third-year extension, the Warriors avoided the entire offer sheet process that is accompanied by the restricted free-agency process.
There really is no scenario in which the Warriors would have lost Curry, it just would’ve been a lot more expensive to keep him. After his spectacular regular season and postseason, the young guard would have certainly entertained multiple max-level offers, of which the Warriors would certainly match. By signing Curry to a $44 million, four-year deal last October, the Warriors have saved $15 million, assuming they would have matched the max offer.
In it’s current incarnation, Curry’s contract makes him the fourth-highest paid Warriors this year and the organization will be paying him a seven-figure contract, a steal considering his value.
The big “if” on Curry’s early extension was whether or not he could stay healthy. If he did, then the Warriors would be credited for taking a calculated risk in obtaining a top point guard without dishing out max contract money. If he didn’t, the Warriors would be castigated in another poor management move by betting against Curry’s glass ankles and losing.
Luckily, history went the way of the former, and Warriors fans can rejoice that the Davidson product ended up being worth every penny.
At the end of the day, Curry’s contract is icing on the cake. One way or another, he was going to be playing for the Warriors next season, regardless of contract extension. It’s just in this way, the management has afforded themselves financial flexibility.
The third-year extension is not a new phenomena by any means; simply take a look at two other point guards from Curry’s draft class, Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday, who both signed early four-year extensions at the same time. The difference being that Lawson and Holiday had not had ankle injuries a week before the signing, making the Curry signing all the more risky. We can see this happening recently, as John Wall signed an early max-contract extension with the Washington Wizards. Next year, we could see the Cleveland Cavaliers pursue the same path with Kyrie Irving.
It’s easy to see how the early extension could have gone poorly. The sharpshooter isn’t exactly known for his stamina, and with every quick cut or crossover, Warriors fans collectively hold their breath. The success of the Curry extension signals a break from the Marcus Williams signings of old and is another testament to the savvy of Bob Myers and company.