Steph Curry Opens Door to Ending Career in Eastern Conference

Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors

Getty Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a three point basket in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Steph Curry sporting any uniform other than the Golden State Warriors‘ would simply look wrong. That said, it isn’t entirely outside the realm of possibility.

Curry is entering the first year of a four-year contract extension worth $215 million with the Dubs that will keep him in the Bay Area until he is 38 years old. The summer of 2026 will also represent the end of Curry’s 17th NBA season assuming he plays out his contract, all of which will have then been spent with Golden State.

But with a handful of championship rings, a couple MVP trophies and a professional legacy that will slot among the best of all time — even if he never accomplishes any of those feats again as a Warrior — the end of Curry’s Dubs dynasty might mean a new, albeit brief, chapter at the twilight of his career.

Were that to happen, Curry said Thursday, it would happen with his hometown Charlotte Hornets.

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Curry Says Hornets Possibility During Special Ceremony at Davidson

Stephen Curry of the Warriors (right), and LaMelo Ball

GettySteph Curry (right) of the Golden State Warriors and LaMelo Ball (left) of the Charlotte Hornets during a game at Chase Center on November 3, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Curry’s comments on the Hornets, and the possibility that he might play a season there to cap his career, came during a ceremony on September 1, in which Curry received a diploma from his alma mater Davidson in North Carolina. The university then retired Curry’s collegiate number.

A Twitter video of Curry speaking, posted by an account linked to the Charlotte Observer, made the rounds online and caused something of a stir.

I’ve always said I want to finish my career in Golden State [because of] how much it means to me — the experiences, the teammates, the journey we have been on. Everybody asks me, ‘Don’t you want to play one year for the Hornets, come back to the city?’

I am not making any promises. All I would say, though, is that if there was a team that I would want to play for that is not named the Warriors, [the Hornets] would be the team. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Curry May Say Goodbye to Prominent Teammate(s) Next Offseason

Andrew Wiggins Draymond Green Jordan Poole

GettyGolden State Warriors stars Jordan Poole (left) Draymond Green (center) and Andrew Wiggins (right) high-five each other during a game against the Sacramento Kings.

If the day ever comes when Curry does depart Golden State, it won’t be before at least one of his prominent teammates paves the way out of town.

The Dubs will run it back in 2022-23, attempting to defend their fourth NBA Championship in eight years with a core group that includes Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney.

While Curry and Looney are under contract for the next several years, and Thompson’s deal runs through the next two seasons, the other three members of the group (Green, Wiggins and Poole) are either up for new deals next offseason, or can be should they choose.

Poole will hit restricted free agency if the Dubs don’t lock him down by mid-October, meaning Golden State can still control whether or not they bring him back. However, competitors around the league can make it tough do so by extending Poole a max offer sheet full of potholes that make the deal less conducive for the Warriors moving forward.

Wiggins hits unrestricted free agency next summer and as good as he was during the Dubs’ run to the title, the two-way forward will probably command a contract incommensurate with the play he provides on the court. In other words, whoever lands the All Star wing will probably have to overpay him to get a deal done, Warriors or otherwise.

Finally, Green can opt out of the final year of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent as well. Whether he will or not remains to be seen, though Green has already said publicly that he will seek a max deal from the Dubs on his next contract, which could put the front office in a bind.

Based on payroll and luxury tax penalties, Golden State will have to let at least one of the three walk, lest they find themselves with a roster bill upwards of $500 million a few years down the road.