As a result of the Warriors’ offseason addition of Kevin Durant via free agency, Stephen Curry is no longer leading the team in scoring and is averaging 2.5 less shots per game than he did a season ago. Despite the slight hit his statistics have taken in 2016/17, Curry says he is fine with the arrangement and welcomes the addition of Durant, Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer relays. The point guard is still stung by the Warriors’ collapse against the Cavaliers in last year’s NBA Finals, when Golden State blew a 3-1 series lead, thus, making him more amenable to sharing the spotlight if it helps the franchise regain the NBA title this season, Fowler notes. “It’s something you’ll never forget, just because it was so close and we didn’t get the job done,” Curry told the scribe. “Does it haunt me? I would more say that it motivates me.”
“It’s been a pretty natural transition,” Curry said of the addition of Durant. “Early in the preseason, we had to find the flow, and just trying to figure out how the ball moves and whatnot. …But with the unselfishness of everybody on our team, and obviously the talent, the ball has been hopping. We’re getting everybody involved. It’s been very, very unforced.”
When asked about how big an adjustment Curry had to make now that Durant is his teammate, coach Steve Kerr told Fowler, “He [Curry] spent most of the preseason sitting back and letting Kevin score and get acclimated and get comfortable. And then maybe the last preseason game or two, he really got aggressive again. But I don’t think his game has changed a whole lot. He [Curry] came into the season realizing that we’re going to play the same way, but he’s probably going to take maybe a couple fewer shots per game and score a couple fewer points. That’s about it.”
The 2016/17 campaign is the only one that Durant and Curry are guaranteed to be teammates, with Curry set to hit unrestricted free agency in July and Durant possessing a player option for 2017/18, Fowler writes. While Curry will assuredly be in wide demand next offseason, re-signing with Golden State appears to be his preference, Fowler adds. “Obviously I love it here in the Bay Area,” Curry said. “It’s all I’ve known in the league. And if the situation is right going forward, this is a place I would love to play.”
One competitor for Curry’s services will be the Hornets, with the guard having grown up in North Carolina. Charlotte already has Kemba Walker at point guard, but Curry could conceivably play alongside him at shooting guard, Fowler opines. When asked if he would consider playing for the Hornets, Curry told Fowler, “I don’t know.” Curry did note that joining Charlotte would have been a greater possibility earlier in his career, Fowler relays.
“Obviously I had a strong tie to Charlotte and would have loved to play there. I’m very comfortable in that city. It’s hard to say exactly what the situation will be this summer,” Curry said. “[Free agency] is on my radar, but it’s not really on my mind as much day-to-day. I’m just trying to enjoy what this season is going to bring.”