NBA rumors: Stephen Curry to sign four-year extension with Warriors

More on Stephen Curry Extension?

Stephen Curry is eligible to sign his second career $200 million contract this offseason. The tail-end of the extension would have him earn $59.6 million in his age-38 season. If the Warriors sign him to this contract, expect them to be aggressive in putting a championship contender around him. Probability of extending: Strong.
Steph Curry as of right now is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season. But all signs point to him signing a contract extension with the Warriors this summer. "My full expectation is that Steph will be with us for the remainder of his career," Golden State owner Joe Lacob said on The TK Show podcast with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. "I think he wants that [and] we want that. I really don't have anything to say about that other than we're in the middle -- or [we have] started that process. That'll go on this summer."
If you are a Warriors fan anxiously waiting for an announcement, you probably are going to have wait until mid-August or so. "I think we all want to see what it looks like with the draft and free agency first," Lacob said. "I think that makes sense to see where we're going. And Steph sees where we're going. Our expectation is we're gonna be with Steph for a long time. We love him and the fans love him. He's obviously fantastic and we're gonna do everything we can to keep him here and keep him happy."
The former MVP is in position to do something that no NBA player has ever done: sign two $200 million contracts. In 2017, Curry became the first NBA player to sign a supermax extension, worth $201 million over five years. Now, four years later, Curry is eligible to sign a four-year, $215.4 million extension this summer, which would keep him under contract with the Warriors through the 2025-26 season.
Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22 if he doesn’t reach an extension agreement in the offseason with the team. However, he doesn’t sound like someone eager to test free agency. Asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) how much of a priority it is to spend his entire career in Golden State, Curry affirmed that’s his plan. “It’s always been a priority,” Curry said. “When you look at guys like Dirk (Nowitzki), Kobe (Bryant), that I played against and have heard them talk about what that’s meant, they don’t speak on it lightly. There’s a reverence for that club.
“You never know what can happen, obviously, but I feel like that’s always been something that would mean so much to me. You want to stay competitive, you want to stay in that fight where you’re winning championships. If I can accomplish both, that’s the ultimate goal.”
ESPN’s Warriors reporter, Nick Friedell, was quick to shoot down the idea on the podcast. Curry did not sign a contract extension before the season, which currently means he could become a free agent in 2022, but delaying the extension also makes him eligible to sign an even bigger deal with the Warriors this summer. “He’s gonna sign,” Friedell said. “There’s no way that Steph — who has only ever said he wants to stay with the Warriors his whole career, and who has only ever said, ‘I can’t wait to play with Klay [Thompson] again, it’s going to be great, and Draymond [Green is] still rolling through either the end of his prime or towards that other stage at a different point in his career’ — that Steph is suddenly going to walk away.
Why didn't the two-time NBA MVP put pen to paper? "He could sign a four-year deal after this season [or] a five-year deal after that," president of basketball operations Bob Myers explained Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game's "Steiny, Guru & Dibs" show. "It wasn't anything that was difficult. No hard conversation. It was just, 'Hey, let's talk about it at the end of the year.' So it's really whatever he's hoping to do and wants to do."
Anthony Slater: Curry on extension: "It's just understanding what the landscape is and what the situation is going into the future. We want to be competitive, we want to be in a situation where we're competing for champions every single year. I want to be a part of it."
If both sides are interested, negotiations would be fascinating from both sides because of the rules in place for extensions this far out. Any veteran extension can bring a player’s contract up to a total length of five seasons — any remaining years on the current contract count toward those five years. Since Curry will still have two seasons left on his deal (it expires July 2022) once this season ends, a new deal this summer could only add three extra years. Waiting until July 2021 would open up a fourth new season and waiting to do the extension all the way until his current deal expires in July 2022 would open up the possibility of adding five more seasons.
The money adds another interesting wrinkle, especially with some uncertainty in the future salary-cap projections. Curry’s salary in the first new season can be the larger of 35 percent of the eventual 2022-23 cap amount (the traditional way max contracts are calculated) or a 5 percent raise on his own 2021-22 salary of $45.8 million, which would be a whopping $48.1 million for the 2022-23 season.We do not know exactly where the cap will go between now and then, but that $48.1 million works well as an estimate. Building 8 percent raises off of that would create an extension that pays Curry $48.1 million in 2022-23, $51.9 million in 2023-24 and $55.8 million in 2024-25 for $155.7 million in new money. Naturally, the two sides could also negotiate an extension for less than that full maximum by reducing years, salary or both.
Yet there are two major reasons for the Warriors not to give him that raise: 1. Any raise Curry gets on his 2016-17 salary would need to come from cap space. The Warriors do have salary cap flexibility — enough, even to add Kevin Durant — doing so would be incredibly costly in luxury tax. That probably is fine when adding a player of Durant’s talent (assuming owner Joe Lacob signs off), but giving Curry a pay bump does not make the team better. It could make the team worse. At a $92 million NBA salary cap (the exact figure is not known yet), his maximum would be about $25.9 million, so the Warriors would need about $14 million in cap space to make it happen.
2. Curry’s new contract would not run nearly as long as if he waits one year for free agency. A renegotiated extension can only be for a maximum of four seasons, and the renegotiated season counts, so a Curry contract this summer would go through the 2019-20 season while a five-year contract as a free agent next summer could give him security until 2021-22. Waiting also likely gives Curry a higher salary per season since the cap will rise again next year — especially if, as expected, the value of maximum contracts is increased in the 2017 labor renegotiations.
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September 18, 2021 | 9:28 pm EDT Update
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You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update

Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

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Timberwolves sign Leandro Bolmaro

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