NBA Rumors: Warriors Smart to Exercise Caution with Stephen Curry Extension

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 31, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 25:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors congratulates his teammates during their game against the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena on March 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There's no question that Stephen Curry has the talent deserving of a large contract, but he's about two non-glass ankles away from being a reliable player.

That's why it's not shocking to hear that the Golden State Warriors are reportedly far from extending the dynamic point guard before Wednesday's deadline (via USA TODAY's Sam Amick):

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the No. 7 pick, could follow suit with Harden, though two people with knowledge of his negotiations told USA TODAY Sports that a gap remains between the two sides. The people requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing.

The Warriors are in an incredibly difficult situation with their former first-round pick and franchise point guard.

On the one hand, his talent is absolutely undeniable. 

In three seasons, Curry is averaging 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He has been incredibly efficient (.473 field goal percentage, .584 true shooting percentage, .547 effective field-goal percentage) for a guy who attempts five three-pointers per contest, although, hitting an insane .441 percent of those threes and 90 percent of your free throws usually makes an efficient player. 

When Curry is on the court, he's one of the best shooters in the NBA, but he also possesses elite quickness, tremendous vision and instinctive defense. You won't find many players from the 2009 draft class more deserving of an extension based purely on talent.

Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, he's been unable to stay healthy. 

In 2009-10, he played 80 games. The next season, that number went down to 74 while constantly being questionable or less than 100 percent. Last year, he missed 40 of the 66 games due to chronic ankle issues. Moreover, he saw his minutes decrease significantly each season.

It was believed that Curry was past the injury woes, but he has already tweaked that ankle in the preseason, although it sounds like he was kept out only as a precaution

So, here's the problem.

If the Warriors don't extend Curry and he has a standout season like he's capable of, teams will undoubtedly sign him to a max contract sheet in the offseason.

If they do extend him, they have to do it in the next day while it's still uncertain how he'll hold up for 82 games. 

In these kinds of situations, it's always best to exercise caution. Signing a player to a huge contract and then proceeding to watch him never be the same is the type of move that kills franchises. 

The Warriors can't afford that, not with the franchise moving in the right direction. 

Instead, make Curry prove he can stay healthy and put up elite production at the same time. If he does that, Bob Myers and company should have no problem paying him max money next summer.