When it comes to the on and off-court impact of one player on a particular franchise, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who surpasses what Stephen Curry has done for the Golden State Warriors over the last 14 years.
So when the two-time MVP is evaluated as the 27th most underpaid player in NBA history, questions have to arise on why Curry isn’t higher, particularly when those pair of MVP’s came on arguably the most team-friendly contract of all-time.
Advanced analytics is a futile measure of how Stephen Curry impacts the game and his worth to the Golden State Warriors over the years.
As with his splash brother Klay Thompson who made an appearance as the third-most overpaid player of all-time, Curry isn’t particularly favored by HoopsHype’s ‘real value’ metric.
Therefore when it came to their rankings of the most underpaid players in league history, Curry ranked 27th while other current-day superstars, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and James Harden, occupied the top five spots on the list.
"“Many may not agree but according to Real Value, two-time league MVP Stephen Curry was actually overpaid in 2022-23 – and by a fairly sizable margin”, authors Frank Urbina and Raul Barrigon wrote."
Quite evidently, evaluating Curry based on advanced analytics is a flawed measure. Is there any way he should be below the five players directly above him — Sam Cassell, Steve Nash, Jimmy Butler, Karl Malone and DeMarcus Cousins?
Winning, which is usually the overriding aim of all professional sport, doesn’t appear to be overly relevant here. 16 of the 26 players ranked above Curry have never tasted the ultimate success of a championship.
Performing at a high-level on a rookie or smaller contract is clearly important, yet Curry should fill that void given the four-year, $44 million deal he was on between 2013 and 2016. Even since then, you could argue that players capable of being the best player on a championship team are well worth the supermax-level money Curry has been making.
Perhaps most notably, no one has changed the fortune of a franchise more than Curry has to Golden State. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber purchased the team for $450 million in 2010. As of October 2022, Forbes estimates the Warriors to be worth $7 billion. Curry has been the driving force behind it, and that seems important when determining a player’s overall valuation.