Now, some quotes from an interview he did last week on The Doug Gottlieb Show have surfaced, and it includes Curry talking about possibly returning to his hometown of Charlotte to play for the Hornets.
Here’s Curry, via Dime Magazine:
I’ve always had thoughts about what it would be like playing at home and what it would be like. My dad played there for 10 years, and people around the greater Charlotte area, North Carolina did a lot for my family growing up. So you always think about it. Right now I feel like I have three years left on my deal so this won’t even be an issue for me for awhile.
I love the Bay Area and where we are as a team – trying to win a championship, that’s what it’s all about. Of course everybody dreams about or thinks about what it’s going to be like to play at home. And obviously if that opportunity comes along it’s a different discussion.
This, of course, has Warriors fans concerned. Curry isn’t a free agent until 2017, but what if he bolts? What if he follows in LeBron’s footsteps and leaves for Charlotte?
Unlike the debate over whether Curry is better than LeBron on offense, these quotes are actually worth discussing. The Warriors have Curry locked up on a bargain right now, as he’s making around $11 million a year. Just to compare, Chris Paul makes $20 million a year with the Clippers, nearly doubling Curry’s salary. You bet that when Curry hits free agency that he’s going to demand top dollar for his services, and if the Warriors are strapped at that point — signing Klay Thompson to a max deal won’t help — other teams that can offer more will swoop in.
Whether Charlotte would actually be a good fit for Curry is another question. The Hornets are a team on the up-and-up, making the playoffs last season, and they have an owner in Michael Jordan who you know is thirsting to win. They have legitimate talent in Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, rookie Noah Vonleh, and free agent acquisition Lance Stephenson. This is a team that should make the postseason next year in a weak Eastern Conference, and possibly have home court advantage in the playoffs. The issue, hypothetically, would be Walker, who plays the same position as Curry — although I think the Hornets would swap Walker for Curry in a heartbeat.
It’s disturbing to think about Curry leaving the Warriors, considering he’ll be 29 when he hits the market, still very much in the prime of his career. But this is 2017 — three seasons from now. If he leads the Warriors to a championship, or they get close to the Finals, it may change his mind about returning home.