The NBA’s free agency period officially began Friday night at 12:01 a.m. and the Warriors instantly made headlines by signing their star player to the largest contract in NBA history.
After playing with a very franchise-friendly four-year, $44 million contract, point guard and 3-pointer machine Steph Curry signing a deal Friday which will net him $201 million over the next five years.
These totals make him the highest paid athlete per year in North America right now in addition to being the highest paid player in the NBA, beating out LeBron James by about $7 million in that department.
It should come as no surprise that the Warriors were willing to give Curry the money considering the tear he has been on for the past three years.
Curry has become one of the most dominant offensive weapons in basketball, hitting an astonishing 1,012 3-pointer since 2014 and leading the Warriors to two NBA championships in the last three years.
Curry also garnered two MVPs in that time including becoming the first-ever unanimous MVP in 2016.
Granted, Curry is not the only one who deserves credit for the Warriors’ success. Klay Thompson has been almost as proficient from behind the arc, Draymond Green has become a defensive force who can also punish people inside and players like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have provided valuable veteran experience on the court.
The addition of Kevin Durant during the 2016 offseason transformed the Warriors from one of the top teams in the league to a dominant team which ran over everyone en route to the 2017 NBA championship.
However, Curry is the man through which the offense runs through and it is his combination of deadliness from long-range and dangerous passing acumen which has helped turn the Warriors into one of the best teams in basketball for the past three years.
Now the Warriors still have some decisions to make in free agency with the next focus likely on Durant, who declined his player option for next season to structure a favorable deal which will benefit the Warriors in free agency.
Iguodala also sits on the free agency bubble as another member of the Warriors core, but it is hard to see him going anywhere else and he will likely take a veteran discount to stay with the Warriors.
Livingston was another question mark for the Warriors going into free agency, but a three-year, $24 million deal was reported Friday which will keep him around as another versatile option for them.
Assuming these deals go through, the Warriors will return to the court in 2017 with all of their pieces intact and seemingly set for a third title in four years unless another team finds a way to match them from a pure talent perspective.
Curry’s payday is well-deserved given what he has done for the Warriors during his career and it sets up the Warriors to continue their stay at the top of the NBA pecking order.