Stephen Curry could be the big winner of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement.
According to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein, Curry will be eligible for a five-year, $207 million contract this summer — the largest in NBA history.
When Curry hits free agency, he could go from being one of the NBA’s most underpaid stars to the highest paid, thanks to the NBA’s new extension rules.
This season, 79 players are making more than Curry’s $12.1 million salary. That salary would jump to $36 million next year in the first season of his new deal and would ultimately reach a whopping $47 million in the final year (2021-22), according to Windhorst and Stein.
LeBron James is the highest-paid player in the NBA this season, with a salary of $31.0 million.
The new CBA incentivizes players to stay with their own teams, allowing contracts that pay up to 35% of the salary cap if players meet certain criteria. Curry, a two-time MVP who’s spent his entire career with the Warriors, would certainly meet these benchmarks.
In the process, however, the Warriors would also lose one of their biggest advantages in building their team — Curry’s (now) remarkably low contract.
In 2012, Curry signed a four-year, $44 million extension that was reflective of his inability to stay healthy for extended periods. Curry then got over the ankle issues that ailed him and became one of the league’s best players.
Locked into a bargain of a deal, the Warriors were able to give big extensions and contracts to Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, while then fairly easily making enough cap space to sign Kevin Durant outright.
That will change this summer if and when Curry signs the richest contract in league history. For the Warriors, however, they will already have Thompson and Green locked into extensions, and they will have Durant’s Bird rights to re-sign him (if he so chooses). In other words: it’s good to be Curry and the Warriors.
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