3 Reasons why Stephen Curry could leave Golden State Warriors after the 2021-22 NBA season

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry
Raunak Jaiswal

Despite Stephen Curry's heroic efforts all year, the Golden State Warriors had to endure a disappointing end to their 2020-21 campaign. Missing out on the playoffs for a second consecutive season is certainly a big blow, but the Dubs must now turn their attention towards what is likely to be a huge offseason for the franchise.

The biggest talking point has to be Stephen Curry's future, whose contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 season. Curry is eligible for an extension this summer and the Golden State Warriors will most certainly table an offer for him.

Will Stephen Curry commit his future to the Golden State Warriors?

Stephen Curry's legacy with the Golden State Warriors and past comments about wanting to retire with the franchise does dictate that he'll sign an extension soon. But there are legitimate arguments as to why Curry may want to see things out for another term before committing arguably the rest of his prime years to Dub Nation.

On that note, let's look at three reasons why Stephen Curry could leave the Golden State Warriors after the 2021-22 season.

#1 The Golden State Warriors may simply not be that good in 2021-22

How good will Klay Thompson be upon returning?
How good will Klay Thompson be upon returning?

The Golden State Warriors' over-dependence on Stephen Curry was visible throughout this season, especially during play-in tournament games. There's little scope for improvement either given the Warriors' financial situation; they have roughly $161 million in committed salaries for the 2021-22 season.

The Golden State Warriors' biggest hope is that Klay Thompson's return will give the franchise a monumental boost. But it's not a given that Thompson will be as good as he was in 2019. He's suffered major injuries in both legs – torn left ACL, and a torn right Achilles tendon – and had to miss two years of action. Seldom do players return from such layoffs and manage to reach their previous heights.

Draymond Green's waning scoring game is also a concern. He's become comfortable as a facilitator on both ends of the court but offers almost zero value as an offensive threat on his own. There's the largely immovable contract of Andrew Wiggins as well. Kelly Oubre Jr. is also likely to depart in free agency.

Overall, there aren't many avenues for the team to improve and Stephen Curry may decide to pack up his bags if the Golden State Warriors endure another rough campaign.

#2 Stephen Curry could team up with a plethora of elite talent in 2022

Curry with Chris Paul
Curry with Chris Paul

Stephen Curry would clearly be the most coveted free agent in 2022 if he decides against signing an extension with the Golden State Warriors. More importantly, he'll have the leverage to attract several elite superstars to team up with him.

As things stand, Chris Paul, Zach LaVine and Julius Randle will all be free agents in 2022. Kawhi Leonard could be on the market as well if he opts into his player option during the 2021-22 season without signing an extension.

Then there's the horde of All-Stars who'll have a player option for the 2022-23 season. Bradley Beal, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and many other players could be enticed by the opportunity to team up with Stephen Curry and end up declining their player options.

Stephen Curry will be 34 by the end of the 2021-22 season. Entering free agency would potentially give him one last crack at making championship runs if he's able to team up with other superstars.

#3 Golden State Warriors could decide to rebuild

Warriors GM Bob Myers (right)
Warriors GM Bob Myers (right)

The Golden State Warriors have a roster whose core is on the wrong side of the 30s. Huge financial commitments and the mentality to compete each year have left the Warriors largely bereft of blue-chip youngsters.

Jordan Poole looks like he could develop into a serious scorer and James Wiseman could turn a corner and prove his doubters wrong after a disappointing rookie campaign. But the duo together isn't enough to usher in a new era for the Golden State Warriors after their current stars move on.

You could argue that the Warriors could always acquire talent in free agency, but their aforementioned cap situation would prevent that from happening. If Stephen Curry signs an extension, the Warriors will have no cap space until at least 2024.

If the Golden State Warriors are unable to improve much during the 2021-22 season, GM Bob Myers may have to pull the plug on the current regime. If Curry is tied down to a contract by then, trading him could help the Warriors recoup a lot of assets. A sign-and-trade could also help the cause if the two-time MVP isn't keen on putting pen to paper.

Also read: What's next for Golden State Warriors? Looking into GM Bob Myers comments on off-season plans, Stephen Curry's future and Klay Thompson's return

Edited by Raunak Jaiswal


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