Stephen Curry's Next Contract Extension Could Be His Last

By Stephen Douglas
Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Stephen Curry is currently negotiating a new max contract extension with the Golden State Warriors. The extension, which would start in 2022, would be worth a lot of money. Curry will likely become the second player (possibly along with Giannis if he signs a supermax in Milwaukee) behind Damian Lillard to earn $50 million for a single season. The Warriors owe this to Curry, no matter the cap implications.

Curry signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension with Golden State ahead of the 2012-2013 season. He was coming off two ankle surgeries and had only appeared in 26 games the previous season. Still, the Warriors were high on him and Curry was high on Golden State. So he signed a deal that "might" turn out to be a bargain for the Warriors. Via SFGate:

""Obviously, if you look at other people in my draft class or other people with comparable stats, I might be below their pay grade, but I'm not really concerned with that," said Curry, who signed ahead of Wednesday's league deadline to reach extensions with fourth-year players. "I could potentially be underpaid. I just don't want to be that guy who is overpaid. That's my mission.""

Then coach Mark Jackson said Curry belonged in the conversation with max-contract point guards around the league. GM Bob Myers was convinced Curry was a "cornerstone" of the franchise. Owner Joe Lacob said Curry was the face of the franchise and was the type of player who could attract free agents.

So everyone knew what was happening and Curry's ankles made the contract - which was smaller than Eric Gordon's and Ty Lawson's - acceptable. And then, while the Warriors were operating with Curry making such little money he became an MVP and the best value, perhaps in all of sports. Golden State was able to win multiple titles and sign Kevin Durant. If they never win another game, Curry deserves this max extension for all he's done for this franchise.

The only real question is what happens when this next extension ends? Curry is committed to finishing his career with the Warriors. Playing for one franchise for such a successful career during this century is incredibly rare. Kobe Bryant was able to do it. Tom Brady wasn't. So you have to ask what Curry will want to do in 2025.

When that contract ends, Curry will be 37-years-old. Would it be time to retire? His father retired right before he turned 38. By then, Steph will have long ago surpassed Ray Allen as the NBA's all-time leading three point shooter. If he's still scoring 20-plus points per game by then, he could be approaching the top 20 in all-time points scored, but he'll never catch LeBron, who will have surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the league's all-time leading scorer.

Curry's desire to retire with the Warriors might actually rob us of a decade of him signing with contenders as the greatest hired gun in league history. Instead, he'll probably sign a one- or two-year deal with Golden State if James Wiseman - or someone else - has worked out and the team is still competitive. Or maybe it will be time for him to pursue a career in golf. Whatever happens, Curry deserves this massive deal and it might also signal the beginning of the end of his career. It sounds dark, but if you're going to talk about Stephen Curry's basketball mortality, there will never be a more fitting time than 2020.

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