The Mavericks have two potential core pieces of their youth movement entering contract year situations in Seth Curry and Nerlens Noel. Dallas got perhaps the deal of the decade last season when it inked Curry to a two-year, $6 million agreement and will have Noel playing on what basically amounts to a one-year, $4.2 million “show-me” contract (which, if you ask Mark Cuban, is something he’s “not happy, but satisfied” with).
The Mavericks have seemingly always had a knack for pulling this kind of thing off in free agency but it’s obvious Curry and Noel are potentially integral parts of Dallas’ plan going forward (especially Noel).
Curry just turned 27 years old. Youth is not as much on his side as with Noel (23 years old), but he excelled with Dallas when given the chance to be the starting shooting guard. In 70 games played, he averaged nearly 13 points and shot 42.5% from deep, the sixth-best mark in the lead (and even better than his brother.)
Curry’s style and scoring ability are reminiscent of Jason Terry, an integral part of Dallas’ 2011 championship run and one of the more beloved non-Dirk Nowitzki Mavericks in recent memory. The hope is that Curry can blossom more into that role as he grows in Dallas’ system under Carlisle’s tutelage and with young Dennis Smith Jr. opening the floor for him and the Mavericks’ other snipers.
Of course, all this is contingent upon whether Curry will be a Maverick long term. While we can’t say for sure, the prospects look much better at this point than they did right after Curry inked his bargain deal.
Because Noel turned down a four-year, $70 million deal and accepted his one-year qualifying offer, Dallas is suddenly flush with about $12 million more in cap space. The issue was always going to be who would the Mavericks choose to sign when it came down to Noel this summer or Curry next summer as he figures to be significantly more expensive than he was last year, and the smart money would’ve been on Dallas signing its potential new franchise center.
Noel’s contract situation has changed that outlook and it appears Dallas can now easily afford to give him the most money of any team next year (barring injuries) and still go over the cap using his Bird rights while still having enough space to give Curry around $10-12M in the first year of his new deal. This is the silver lining of Noel deciding to bet on himself, but it’s still an uncomfortable position Dallas finds itself in as it can now no longer rely on the functions of restricted free agency to keep Noel a Maverick if he signs with another team.
Back to Curry. How do we know he’s staying in the first place? We don’t, but if you’ve been watching Curry’s summer, there are promising signs that he is laying down roots in the Dallas area and that he has the full blessing of Mark Cuban.
Curry’s Venture Entrepreneurial Expedition Program is a course designed to help young kids begin to cultivate and utilize an entrepreneurial mindset and begin the process of thinking like a contestant on Shark Tank.
While Curry has also done his fair share of local basketball camps in the area, this is something different than what NBA players normally do in terms of philanthropic work and it seems to be something Cuban is very familiar with and has plenty of expertise in.
While none of this is a guarantee that Curry will resign with Dallas next summer, for Mavericks fans it’s an encouraging sign that the budding entrepreneur and scorer is finding a niche in the area and that his boss is more than on board with it.
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