Stephen Curry is currently the most underpaid player in the league. Thankfully for him, according to the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, his ship has finally come in.
The two-time MVP is in the midst of the final year of a 4 year, $44 million extension. This season, he's making about $12 million. Though that may seem like a pretty decent paycheck, it's only pennies compared to what some of his counterparts are raking in. And most of those guys haven't won MVPs, much less a championship. But next season, Curry's salary could triple!
According to the new CBA, teams can place a designated veteran tag on up to two players that they wish to re-sign, provided those players meet certain guidelines. Curry, having played his entire career with the Warriors, meets all of those guidelines.
The new rule says that teams may pay their designated veterans up to 35% of their salary cap. In other words, if the estimated $102 million salary cap holds true for next season, Curry could make about $36 million! And, if he stays in Golden State, he's also eligible for a 7.5% annual raise, meaning he could sign a 5-year deal worth over $200 million! He would make almost $50 million in the final year of the contract, and it would be by far the largest contract in the history of the league.
To put this in perspective, other teams looking to sign Curry would only be able to offer about $24 million per year. Warriors fans should definitely celebrate right now, because there's no way Steph is going anywhere.
Unfortunately for Curry, superstar teammate Kevin Durant is not eligible for this new rule, having only signed with the Warriors this past off-season. Together the two have led the Warriors to a league-best 24-4 record, averaging over 50 points per game combined.
With Durant ineligible for the designated veteran tag, the Warriors will have to decide whether to place the other tag on Klay Thompson or Draymond Green, both of whom have been instrumental in the Warriors' recent success. Also, with so much money locked up in their four superstars, they'll probably have to make some tough decisions with guys heading to free agency, like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
All in all, the latest CBA is a good thing for the core group of Golden State superstars, but not necessarily the best thing for the team as a whole. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep winning games after they inevitably lose some of their key support players off the bench.
The one thing that's for certain at this point is that Steph Curry will be sticking with the Warriors, and he'll be rolling in dough.