Stephen Curry is arguably an elite talent in the NBA, who is looking to earn a maximum deal from the Golden State Warriors. If no deal is reached by October 31, Curry is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 regular season.
The Warriors have begun preliminary talks with Curry’s agent, but they are unsure how much or how long they want to leverage themselves with his persistent ankle injury. With the Dubs in wait-and-see mode, there is a high possibility that they won’t have enough information after one month of training camp and exhibition games.
If that is the case, it bodes well for Curry, since he will have a chance to show off his talents to both the Dubs and the rest of the league. The Warriors have the ability to match any offer that comes their way since Curry would be a restricted free agent.
The most obvious goal for Curry is to stay healthy as he missed 40 out of the 66 games last year, had continuous ankle problems and finally went under the knife for the last repair. If Curry can play in at least 70 games without any prolonged trips to the bench, he will prove his durability.
Curry has the elite talent which made the decision easy for ownership to trade Monta Ellis and fill a much larger hole. At that moment, Curry took over the leadership role on the team. He now has to show that he can handle the offense and transition game, while at the same time leading the defensive effort.
Curry will have to show that he can make his signature offensive moves, drive to the hoop, bang with the bigger bodies and dish the ball to his transitioning teammates. Curry will have to stay on the positive side of the plus/minus statistic and, most importantly, win ballgames.
Curry will also have to continue with his domination of the three-point shot, especially with the talented perimeter of Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes surrounding him. Curry has a career average of 44.1 percent from behind the arc.
If Curry can make the All-Star team, that is serious icing on the cake. No Warrior has earned a spot on that team since the last century, and that honor went to the disenfranchised Latrell Sprewell in 1997. An All-Star inclusion would at least send competing teams to Curry’s door with maximum offers.
The most important thing Curry must do is show that he can defend. Defense is the universal message laid down by coach Mark Jackson, and if Curry truly is the team leader he will be the example.
Jackson, one of the best point guards of his time, played the position and knows how to recognize defenses. Curry needs to learn from Jackson how to identify and make adjustments when he is on the defensive end of the floor.
The bottom line with Curry is that unless he faces a significant injury, competing teams will make a significant run at him, thus forcing his asking price up. The ball will be in the Dubs' court. With such a translucent personality and a guy who is truly the face of the team, the Warriors will be forced to match any offer.
Looking at this from the big picture, if the ownership really wants to maximize its profits and bring this team into competition with the behemoth Los Angeles Lakers, retaining Curry is a must. If they move into the San Francisco waterfront arena, the Dubs need a player who is highly marketable that garners fans' attention.
Curry controls his future and if he plays his cards right, he should be receiving a maximum deal during the next offseason.