Three-time champion and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors just made more history.
Coming off a brilliant 2020-21 season, Curry has officially inked a four-year, $215 million extension through the 2025-26 campaign.
He now has the distinction of becoming the first NBA player to ink two contracts in excess of $200 million throughout his career. Curry’s average annual salary of $54 million is also the highest in Association history. Below, we look at three takeaways from the historic Stephen Curry contract extension.
Assuming the future Hall of Famer doesn’t request a trade at some point, it appears that he will be one of those rare stars to play his entire career with one team.
Set to turn 34 next March, this contract extension will take Curry up until his age-38 season. While the he has shown no signs of slowing down, there’s every reason to believe that this will be his final long-term contract in the NBA. That would mean 17 seasons with one team. He will join Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan in this rare group.
If you add in Curry’s $45.8 million salary for 2021-22, he’ll earn an absolutely absurd $261 million over the next five seasons. To put this into perspective, seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has earned $263 million since entering the NFL in 2000.
From Golden State’s perspective, it is obviously staying loyal to a player who has played a direct role in the organization going from laughingstock to the pinnacle of the sports world. When Curry was drafted back in 2009, the Warriors’ organization was valued by Forbes at $315 million. In their most-recent valuation, Forbes has Golden State as the second-most valuable organization in the NBA at $4.7 billion — leapfrogging the Los Angeles Lakers in the process.
So, before we talk about how ridiculous an average annual salary of $54 million is for one player, it’s important to also look at said players’ value to the organization. Remember, the Warriors wouldn’t have been able to build that state-of-the-art venue on the San Francisco waterfront if it weren’t for the Curry-led teams winning three NBA titles in four seasons.
Last week saw the Warriors use their two lottery selections on teenagers with Jonathan Kuminga going seventh overall and Moses Moody finding himself off the board at 14.
This was somewhat shocking to a sports media world that figured Golden State would move both selections for veteran players to bolster its ability to contend next season. In fact, an argument could be made that the Warriors owe this to Stephen Curry and the teams other veterans.
Now through the first two days of NBA free agency, the Warriors have added less-heralded veterans in of Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica. Both are decent acquisitions, but they don’t represent the high-profile players Golden State had been linked to since the team finished up its second consecutive non-playoff season.
That means that Golden State is relying on Curry to continue playing at a high level over the next couple seasons as the team’s youngsters round into form. In turn, the three-time champion is banking on the Warriors somehow returning to championship contention with their core group seemingly set for next season.
It’s an interesting backdrop to this extension, especially with the division rival Los Angeles Lakers pretty much signing everyone under the sun.