- The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry have agreed on a $215 million USD, four year contract extension.
- Curry’s current deal will expire at the end of the 2021-2022 NBA season.
- The estimated value of the Warriors’ franchise has increased from $450 million USD in 2010 to $4.7 billion USD today.
Amid all of the NBA free agent activity today one team made headlines for keeping their star player in the fold. The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry have reportedly agreed on a four year contract extension worth $215 million USD. Curry was heading into the final year of his current contract and without an extension he could have become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021-2022 NBA season. The 33 year old Curry becomes the first player in NBA history to sign two separate contracts worth more than $200 million USD each. He’s scheduled to make $45.8 million USD in 2021-2022.
The Warriors have won three NBA Championships during Curry’s tenure and he’s won the MVP Award twice. He’s coming off yet another impressive season putting up a career high 32 points per game and earned the league’s scoring title for the second time. He also contributed 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 42.1% from 3-point range. Even without injured Klay Thompson the Warriors were able to reach the playoffs but were eliminated at the ‘play in’ stage by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Curry has definitely transformed the franchise on the court–the year they drafted Curry out of Davidson with the 7th overall pick Golden State finished 26-56. A couple more ugly seasons followed by the start of a turnaround that would eventually see the Warriors win three championships and play in the NBA Finals in five consecutive years. More significantly, the entire culture of the team changed. In 2019, the Warriors were named Sports Business Journal’s ‘Franchise of the Decade’ and former team president Rick Welts spoke to CNBC on that occasion explaining how Curry changed Golden State’s identity:
“We went from being a team that when they were ready to play expected to lose, to a team that believed they had first had a chance to win and then expected to win. That’s a gigantic shift in the culture of the Warriors.”
“When your best player is not only the athlete and talent that he is,” Welts said, “but also the person that he is, you’ve got a heck of a head start in trying to create something special.”
Golden State can also thank Curry for sparking a financial transformation as well. In 2010, team owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid $450 million USD for the Warriors. Forbes currently lists the team’s value at $4.7 billion USD, second highest in the NBA behind the New York Knicks. Golden State opened the first (and so far only) privately financed arena–the Chase Center in San Francisco–in 2019. It cost $1.4 billion USD to build and reportedly had commitments for $2 billion USD in tickets before it even opened.
The Warriors revenue streams are downright insane and are unmatched by any other team in the league. Golden State brings in nearly $500 million USD per season and projections suggest that they’ll reach $700 million USD annually once the COVID-19 pandemic is in the rear view mirror. Their uniform sponsorship deal with Japanese B2B ecommerce powerhouse Rakuten is worth $20 million a year by itself. Before the pandemic, every Warriors’ home game at the Chase Center brought in more than $3 million USD in gate revenue.
Curry brings in plenty of revenue individually as well. His annual endorsement earnings are estimated at $40 million USD and he owns an equity stake in a variety of startup companies. He also launched an investment firm (SC30) and owns a piece of San Francisco-based tech firm Mos and Denver based Guild Education. His social media reach is massive with over 50 million followers on Instagram and Twitter. His engaged fanbase is one reason that Curry prefers to take an equity stake in companies instead of a flat fee for endorsements. He approaches this part of his career with the same seriousness as he plays basketball. In 2020, he told CNBC:
“You have to be strategic about it. You have to have the right team in place to manage the future and those relationships.”
Curry and the Warriors are receiving strong support in the betting marketplace. At BetOnline.ag, the Warriors are a +1000 fourth choice to win the NBA Championship behind the Los Angeles Lakers (+300), Brooklyn Nets (+300) and Milwaukee Bucks. Curry is also a +650 second choice to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award behind Dallas’ Luka Doncic at +450. Now Golden State needs to rebuild Curry’s supporting cast–if they can add some depth and particularly if they can get Klay Thompson back in the lineup these prices should drop considerably.