There are a few things to know about one of the first deals to come across the board in this summer's NBA free agency. First, the deal just signed between the Golden State Warriors and Stephen (Steph) Curry makes Curry the highest paid player ever signed in NBA history. Second, it's a five-year deal worth a reported $201 million (according to his agent Jeff Austin). Finally, it's a deal that will keep the dream team of the Golden State Warriors together.
For his part, Steph Curry has largely been the leader of one of the most dominant teams in recent NBA history. His Warriors team has won more regular-season games than any other team in the last three years and they've appeared in three consecutive finals' series, won two NBA titles and lost one — to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was named the league's Most Valuable Player twice in this stretch, including in 2016, when he became the first-ever unanimous winner of the award.
As such, it's not surprising that Curry is now the NBA's premier earner. Especially if you consider that for years he was relatively underpaid. Over the last four seasons, even as arguably the flashiest player and poster-child of points guards, the three-point superstar made only $11 million per year. And, even though this new deal does a lot to correct that technicality, there are many of the games biggest names who think he should be earning more.
Curry is the first NBA star to sign a supermax contract. He's also the first player to cross a $200 million barrier. But, with the value of the Warriors franchise somewhere around the $2.6 billion mark, there are some, including LeBron James, who believes the idea of a max cap for the elite of the elite in the NBA is a bad idea.
The deal Curry signed is likely to be the type of deal we see regularly with the games biggest stars. A contract that pays a player more than $40 million per season is not going to be abnormal in the next few years, but it's only fitting that the first player to sign a deal of this magnitude is one of the game's best.
That he's got public support to declare he's still underpaid by the other player considered the best means LeBron's next deal (one he can take as soon as next summer) will be just as sizeable. Probably bigger.