Basketball: Steph Curry's NBA contract is laughable

By Jai Bednall

Stephen Curry handles the ball against Tristan Thompson in Game Five of the NBA Finals. Photo / Getty Images
Stephen Curry handles the ball against Tristan Thompson in Game Five of the NBA Finals. Photo / Getty Images

Steph Curry may have been pipped by LeBron James in this year's NBA Finals but everything that happened before - and after - that thrilling seven-game series reflects his status in the world of basketball.

Curry claimed his second consecutive league MVP after leading the Warriors to an NBA record 73 wins in the regular season. He broke his own mark for three-pointers in a season - a feat that was recognised at the ESPYs where he won the best record-breaking performance award. He was also named "Clutch Player of the Year" at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Sports Awards earlier this month.

There's no doubt Curry is one of the very best basketball players in the world, but when you consider what he'll paid by Golden State to play next season it doesn't seem that way.

A new TV deal saw the NBA's salary cap increase significantly for next year, resulting in a swag of big money deals handed out over the American summer.

It's left players like Curry - who is entering the final year of a four-year contract signed with the Warriors in 2013 - staring up at players that aren't fit to tie his shoelaces.

Curry's current deal has looked like a bargain for years (he accepted less than he was worth at the time after battling injuries early in his career) but now it looks like highway robbery.

The league's leading scorer will earn just over $12 million next season making him the 79th highest paid player in the NBA - and he'll drop further down the list when players like LeBron James sign new deals in the coming weeks.

Consider some of the ballers who will earn far more than the three-point machine - who averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds last season - in 2016-17:

Portland shooting guard Allen Crabbe averaged 10.3 points per game last season. He'll be paid $18.5 million by the Trail Blazers.

Big men Enes Kanter (Thunder) and Timofey Mozgov (Cav turned Laker) barely made it on the floor during the pointy end of the play-offs. They're on the books for $17.1 million and $15 million, respectively.

Milwaukee's John Henson scored just seven points in 17 minutes per game last season. He'll still make more than Curry.

But the Splash Brother isn't alone in being underpaid. The timing of contracts is everything in the NBA and some of Curry's rivals were unfortunate to sign theirs a while ago too.

Curry's teammate Draymond Green is somewhat of a steal at $15.3 million, Toronto leader Kyle Lowry is ranked way down at No. 82 at $12 million and the likes of Russell Westbrook ($17.8 million) and Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving (both $17.6 million) are outperforming their salaries.

Of course Curry's place in the pecking order will change quickly when he signs a new contract with the Warriors next season. The nimble point guard is expected to a sign a maximum five-year deal in the range of $35-40 million per season - immediately elevating him to the top of the list below.

Kiwi Steven Adams is ranked 245th on the list of more than 450 players. The Thunder centre will be paid $3,140,517 next season, that's less than eight of his teammates.

NBA'S HIGHEST EARNERS
1. Mike Conley (Grizzlies), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Kevin Durant (Warriors), James Harden (Rockets), Al Horford (Celtics) - $26,540,100
6. Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) - $24,559,380
7. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) - $24,328,425
8. Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) - $24,096,386 (estimate)
9. Chris Bosh (Heat) - $23,741,060
10. Dwyane Wade (Bulls) - $23,227, 384
11. Dwight Howard (Hawks) - $23,180,275
12. Chris Paul (Clippers) - $22,868,828
13. Harrison Barnes (Mavericks), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Chandler Parsons (Mavericks), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Andre Drummond (Pistons), Hassan Whiteside (Heat) - $22,116,750
19. Derrick Rose (Knicks) - $21,323,252
20. Brook Lopez (Nets), Kevin Love (Cavs), Marc Gasol (Grizzlies), DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) - $21,165,675
24. Nicolas Batum (Hornets) - $20,869,565
25. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs) - $20,575,005
26. Blake Griffin (Clippers) - $20,140,838
27. Paul Millsap (Hawks) - $20,072,033
28. Ryan Anderson (Rockets) - $18,735,363
29. Allen Crabbe (Trail Blazers) - $18,500,000
30. Paul George (Pacers) - $18,314,532
31. Luol Deng (Lakers) - $18,000,000
32. Russell Westbrook (Thunder) - $17,769,374
33. Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Kyrie Irving (Cavs) - $17,638,063
35. Jimmy Butler (Bulls) - $17,552,209
36. Tobias Harris (Pistons) - $17,200,000
37. Wesley Matthews (Mavericks), Greg Monroe (Bucks), Enes Kanter (Thunder) - $17,145,838
40. Bismack Biyombo (Magic), Joakim Noah (Knicks), Evan Fournier (Magic) - $17,000,000
43. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), John Wall (Wizards) - $16,957,900
45. Klay Thompson (Warriors) - $16,663,575
46. Evan Turner (Trail Blazers) - $16,393,443
47. Gordon Hayward (Jazz) - $16,073,140
48. Ian Mahinmi (Wizards) - $15,944,154
49. Goran Dragic (Heat) - $15,891,725
50. Kent Bazemore (Hawks) - $15,730,338
51. Pau Gasol (Spurs) - $15,500,000
52. Tristan Thompson (Cavs), Draymond Green (Warriors) - $15,330,435
54. Khris Middleton (Bucks) - $15,200,000
55. Danilo Gallinari (Nuggets) - $15,050,000
56. Jeff Green (Magic) - $15,000,000
57. Timofey Mozgov (Lakers) - $14,988,290
58. Reggie Jackson (Pistons) - $14,956,522
59. Tony Parker (Spurs) - $14,445,313
60. Jonas Valanciunas (Raptors) - $14,382,022
61. DeMarre Carroll (Raptors) - $14,200,000
62. Eric Bledsoe (Suns), Rajon Rondo (Bulls), Manu Ginobili (Spurs) - $14,000,000
65. Thaddeus Young (Pacers) - $13,953,652
66. Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves) - $13,400,000
67. Rudy Gay (Kings) - $13,333,333
68. Jamal Crawford (Clippers) - $13,253,012
69. Robin Lopez (Bulls) - $13,219,250
70. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Hornets) - $13,000,000
71. Brandon Knight (Suns) - $12,606,250
72. Arron Afflalo (Kings), Jordan Clarkson (Lakers) - $12,500,000
74. Tyson Chandler (Suns) - $12,415,000
75. Eric Gordon (Rockets) - $12,385,364
76. John Henson (Bucks) - $12,267,606
77. Marvin Williams (Hornets), Serge Ibaka (Magic) - $12,250,000
79. Stephen Curry (Warriors) - $12,112,359

Also:
245. Steven Adams (Thunder) - $3,140,517

*Figures taken from spotrac.com

- news.com.au

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