Although the Golden State Warriors haven't gone out and got a big fish in free agency this summer, their biggest signing happened internally, when franchise star Stephen Curry agreed to a four-year, $215 million contract extension Tuesday afternoon. The deal was a no-brainer on the Warriors part, as the three-time champion and two-time league MVP has led this franchise from basement dweller to marquee organization over his 12-year career.
While the threat of losing Curry at the end of this upcoming season was minimal as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2022, nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, even for a franchise mainstay like Curry. Just look at Damian Lillard and Portland right now. However, after two seasons in which the Warriors have missed the playoffs, with injuries being the primary reason, there were questions lingering about Golden State's ability to get back to the top of the mountain. But Curry said in an interview with The Athletic's Marcus Thompson that he's positive about Golden State's future.
"Yeah, the effort is there. Just being around the conversations that some people are privy to and most people are not — we want to win," Curry said, "And if anybody was not with that, then we've got issues. And I don't think I'd have signed up for five years of that. So that's the vibe."
Well that's a huge sigh of relief for Golden State's front office, especially considering the Warriors have missed on several of their free agent targets this summer. There were reports of the Warriors trying to get guys like Nicolas Batum and Patty Mills, but Batum opted to re-sign with the Clippers, and Mills left the Spurs to join the Nets. It's a bit surprising for the Warriors to not get the guys they want after years of veterans signing for less than what they were worth in order to chase a ring. But its indicative of a power shift in the NBA, where teams like the Nets, Lakers and reigning champion Bucks are swooping in to bolster their rosters with savvy vets on the market.
It also speaks to the uncertainty around how Klay Thompson will look when he returns after missing the past two seasons due to an ACL tear in the 2019 NBA Finals and an Achilles tear weeks before the 2020-21 season. But like Curry said, the effort in trying to go after guys is still there from the Warriors, which is what he wanted to see before committing another four years to this franchise.
"I would be disappointed if there was ever a vibe that you're complacent or that you're not proactive and looking to always get better," Curry said. "So if you're telling me we're trying to go after Batum, we're trying to go after Patty, and things didn't line up like that, then that's just how the league works. But if there's ever a situation where you don't feel that commitment from upstairs, then we have issues. I haven't felt that this summer."
The Warriors can find solace in knowing that Curry is still committed to their franchise despite a bumpy past two years. But it should also serve as cautionary advice to Golden State's front office, because if this team decides to get complacent as Curry said and doesn't put in as much effort to chase quality players, then his commitment to the Warriors could change. But for now, it sounds like they're keeping their franchise star happy.