NBA AM: Will Warriors Extend Steph Curry?
Stephen Curry’s 2011-12 season didn’t go quite as planned. Rather than furthering his development and helping the Golden State Warriors compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the 24-year-old point guard spent much of the season sidelined with a nagging right ankle injury.
He played in just 26 games and struggled to find a rhythm when he was on the court, averaging a career-low 14.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Now, he has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and will spend the summer trying to get healthy.
There have been plenty of questions about Curry’s durability and the timing of his injury puts the Warriors in a difficult position going forward. Curry is eligible to sign a contract extension in the fall, but the organization may be hesitant to offer a long-term deal given his health issues.
The Warriors believe that Curry is a special player, but how much will they be willing to pay him if he’s sidelined more often than not? Curry completely understands if the organization is concerned and he’s curious to see what happens when the two sides negotiate in the fall.
“That’s out of my control,” Curry told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News. “When you have an injury like this you always have some doubts and some concerns when it comes to contract negotiations, especially my first go-’round at it.”
“Whether that happens or not, I want to be out here and be a part of where we’re going,” he continued. “So it’ll be great if it did–and if we both met somewhere. But if not, I’ve got a season to play next year and to continue get better and whatever happens, happens.”
For now, Curry will give his ankle a month of rest before beginning an offseason rehab plan. He has visited specialists and weighed his treatment options.
“I’ve had so many hands and eyes on my ankle at this point,” Curry said. “I’ve had five months… or a year, really, to look at it… I’ve had plenty of recommendations and just thoughts about how to stay on the court.”
“[I’ll continue] the treatment I’ve been doing the last month, probably just keep that going and then hopefully can wrap it up and maybe play some pick-up somewhere and get my legs back,” Curry said. “At that point, I’ll treat it like a normal summer of preparing for training camp. Just now maybe add an hour extra a day to focus on my ankle and strength and balance and range of motion, stuff like that, that needs to be ready for a long season next year.”
“I think getting a truly healthy ankle where there’s no pain, no nothing, we’re almost there.”
Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari and Kosta Koufos were the only players to sign extensions from the 2008 draft class. Others – such as Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert and O.J. Mayo – were forced to wait for their big payday. If Curry and the Warriors can’t agree to an extension this fall, he’ll become a restricted free agent during the summer of 2013.
Chandler Out for Season: Wilson Chandler will miss the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with a labral tear in his left hip, the Denver Nuggets announced on Wednesday.
This has been a strange season for Chandler, who signed with the Nuggets last month after returning from a lockout stint in China. The small forward was hoping to play through the injury, but instead his season will end after just eight games.
“I think Wilson is disappointed and sad — he came back here hoping to give us a big boost,” head coach George Karl told Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post. “I heard the rehab takes a long time too, so we just have to be patient, and hopefully he’ll get back on the court. I hear it’s four, five months of rehab, but I’m not sure.”
Chandler, who averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds this season, tried to play through the injury but described himself as having “no explosiveness.” He wasn’t able to contribute while “playing with pain” and decided that undergoing surgery and starting the rehabilitation process would be best. Chandler is expected to be back on the court by the start of next season.
Matthews Will Play Summer League: Wesley Matthews has been in the NBA for three seasons and he’s set to earn $6,505,320 next year. He has averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 rebounds this season, solidifying himself as a key contributor for the Portland Trail Blazers. However, that won’t stop the 25-year-old from competing in the Las Vegas Summer League this offseason.
“I’m playing,” Matthews told Jason Quick of The Oregonian. “I’m playing. Dead serious.”
“I’m thinking I’ve got to get better,” Matthews added. “The summertime is where we can be selfish. I challenge everyone to work as hard as I do this summer. If we all do that, we will be a helluva team next year when we get back together.”
Matthews informed his agent, Lance Young, of his decision on Wednesday.
“He said he wants to play in two or three games, practices … just be around the team,” Young said. “I said ‘all right.’ He’s going to be playing pick-up games anyway.”
Sometimes players returning from injury will play in Las Vegas to test themselves in game conditions, but it’s rare to see a veteran sign up just to further his development. The Blazers love it and acting general manager Chad Buchanan praised Matthews for his extraordinary work ethic.
“That’s not a surprise,” Buchanan said. “Wes is striving to get better all the time. I love it. In the history of the NBA, I can’t imagine too many guys of his stature requesting to play in Summer League. That tells you a lot about him.”
NBA Chats: There are two chats on the schedule for today. Joel Brigham will get things started today at 1:30 p.m. ET. Next up, Mark Nugent will hold his weekly chat tonight at 6 p.m. ET. Both of these chats fill up fast so be sure to ask a question now. To view all of our upcoming chats, click here.