So Stephen Curry didn’t get a no-trade clause in his new contract, eh? The Golden State Warriors can move him if they feel the need and can find a buyer, is that the deal?
Well, okay then. I dare them to try.
Curry is the franchise’s franchise-iest player, and that will not change until well after his game starts to deteriorate. Fan bases are fickle, so when they seize upon a favorite, they cling to him as though he was a religious figure.
So if the day comes when the Warriors – either current general manager Bob Myers, general manager in-training Kirk Lacob, or some fresh-faced cannon fodder in the future – decide Curry must be moved, the fallout will be stupendous. And when it comes to entertainment, a fan base scorned is hard to beat.
Now we get the team’s need for flexibility in a post-luxury-tax world, especially given the bills they could be looking at if they try to keep the band together. Prudent business and all that.
Plus, Curry can’t be blamed for asking for everything when the starting point of the negotiations was damned near everything, so there really isn’t any villainy here on either side. Conditions change, and adaptability separates well-run franchises from the Cleveland Browns or Brooklyn Nets.
But if Curry can be traded in the abstract, one can’t help but imagine what trading him in the tangible world would resemble. Think dumpster fires. Lots and lots of dumpster fires.
Curry, after all, is the foundation for everything that came next for this franchise, and the most compelling argument for him getting a no-trade clause is organizational gratitude.
The problem, of course, is that most organizations (well, ALL organizations, if you must know) regard a salary with benefits as sufficient gratitude. Not every team invests in an Al Attles embodiment-of-the-franchise type.
But if the Warriors must have one for the next incarnation of their franchise, Curry would be it. He might not want the gig when that time comes, but he is better positioned for it than anyone else on the roster. And if that matters to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the no-trade clause that doesn’t exist on paper may actually exist in the atmosphere.
So fret not, children. Stephen Curry playing for your Seattle Pacers in 2020-21 isn’t really a reality upon which you should lose sleep.
It just could be, and you’ll have to deal with that as he does – when it comes.