Stephen Curry is entering the final season of the 5-year, $201 million contract he signed with the Golden State Warriors back in 2017.
Naturally, his impending free agency has drawn a lot of attention.
One player in particular who has tried to capitalize on Curry’s status? LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
James has pretty brazenly attempted to cozy up to Curry over the past year.
“I thought it was hilarious over All-Star Weekend, LeBron praising Steph up and down … how much he loves his game, how much he respects him. LeBron has obviously put the full-court press on, not the full-court press, but LeBron has obviously begun the recruiting of Steph, just in the event that he wouldn’t extend and that somehow he would become a free agent and that the Lakers would have a swing at him,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported.
This prompted a bemused initial response from the Golden State Warriors.
A few days ago, Warriors owner Joe Lacob sat down with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami and went into greater detail regarding the Curry situation.
“I’m certainly not worried about the guy you mentioned recruiting him,” he said of James.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
That said, he wouldn’t blame Curry if he did want to leave.
“Look, Steph Curry, if he really wanted to leave at the end of his contract, he’s a free agent, he’s earned the right, he can do it,” the Warriors owner said.
“I said that with Kevin Durant. I’m still friends with Kevin Durant and I still really like him. And I will always love him for what he did for this franchise. By the way, he took less money when he was here. He really helped us. We were able to get a couple of other players. … Players don’t usually do that and he did that. So I have great respect and admiration for that for Kevin. And I would for Steph no matter what he does, too. He’s done a lot for us, we’ve done a lot for him.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Curry is eligible to sign another extension with Golden State that would be worth well over $200 million. That obviously requires a huge commitment, from both sides.
The Warriors are in an interesting place. Between the openness with which they shopped Kelly Oubre Jr. and shady way they lied to LaMelo Ball, the franchise’s reputation isn’t amazing right now. Losing Curry, the greatest player in team history, for financial reasons would be the worst blow yet.
Barring something crazy happenings, it’s tough to see a scenario where a deal doesn’t happen and Curry doesn’t ultimately retire as a member of the Warriors.