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The 2021 free-agent class isn’t crowded with upper echelon, franchise-changing talent, but the 2022 class contains some favorable names many teams will pursue.
Curry has one more year left in his five-year, $201 million contract that will see him earn north of $45 million in 2021-22, but if an extension with Golden State isn’t agreed upon, his signature is fair game.
That could have implications for the entire league if Curry is unrestricted, especially for the Los Angeles Lakers.
There have been rumors throughout the season that star forward LeBron James has been recruiting Curry to join the Lakers in 2022.
However, Warriors owner Joe Lacob isn’t concerned about James prying away the franchise’s star player, via Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:
“Look, Steph Curry, if he really wanted to leave at the end of his contract, he’s a free agent, he’s earned the right, he can do it,” Lacob said. “I said that with Kevin Durant. I’m still friends with Kevin Durant and I still really like him. And I will always love him for what he did for this franchise. By the way, he took less money when he was here. He really helped us. We were able to get a couple of other players. … Players don’t usually do that and he did that. So I have great respect and admiration for that for Kevin. And I would for Steph no matter what he does, too. He’s done a lot for us, we’ve done a lot for him. I would hope that we provide the environment for him that he wants to be at for the rest of his. …
“I’m certainly not worried about the guy you mentioned recruiting him. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Curry has been a Warrior ever since the team drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Curry helped deliver three championships during the team’s dynasty run before injuries piled up and forced the organization out of contention.
It’s unclear what Curry has planned for his career as his spot in the Hall of Fame is all but guaranteed with the imprint he has on the sport of basketball. Lacob said Curry has the right to leave in free agency if he so chooses.
Whether Curry wants a new venture with the Lakers is up in the air, as L.A. would need to sort out its financial books to bring in a player of Curry’s caliber.