The Trail Blazers have signed former Mavericks guard Seth Curry to a modest free agent deal. Known as the sweet-shooting brother of two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, Seth will look to get his career back on track in Portland. Along with newly signed Nik Stauskas, Curry’s addition will provide the Blazers with cost-effective floor spacing on offense.
Let’s take a look at a few important things to consider while evaluating Curry’s fit with the Blazers.
Curry is a career 43.2 percent three-point shooter, but he is far from a volume shooter. In 2016-17—his most active year shooting from distance—the former Duke guard attempted 4.6 three-pointers per game. Curry’s outside shots are spread around the arc, but he is at his best when he is shooting from the corner. According to Cleaning The Glass (subscription required), the 27-year-old guard connected on 48 percent of his corner threes—placing him in the 86 percentile of his position group.
The 2015-16 season gave a much smaller sample size (only 44 games played with Sacramento), but Curry’s shooting percentages are on par with his output in Dallas. He attempted 2.5 three-pointers per game with the Kings, and shot a superb 45 percent rate.
There is a reason Curry was available at such a reasonable price, and it has to do with his suspect durability. He was limited to just 70 games (42 starts) in 2016-17 after a late-season fall injured his left shoulder. A left tibia fracture suffered in October of last year cost him his entire 2017-18 season. After months of rehabbing to start the year, Curry elected to have season-ending surgery in early-February.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Curry successfully returned to the practice court earlier this summer.
Free agent guard Seth Curry, who missed season with a left tibia fracture, has been medically cleared and engaged in full basketball-related activities for a month, his agent Alex Saratsis told ESPN. Curry had his best season w/ Mavs in 2016-17, averaging 12.8 points in 29 mpg.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2018
Contract And Future
The Blazers have added four guards since the end of the season, and Curry is the most accomplished of the quartet. Rookies Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr project to be floor-spacers in the NBA, but Curry’s experience should allow him to see minutes early on in his tenure with Portland. President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has often looked to discarded players to infuse the Blazers’ roster with talent.
Former reclamation project Shabazz Napier appears to be firmly out the door after Portland withheld a qualifying offer for the veteran guard prior to the start of free agency. Stauskas and Curry now represent Olshey’s next projects.
There is financial upside for both Portland and Curry here. If Curry returns to his pre-injury form, the Blazers will add a quality three-point shooter at a bargain price. In that scenario Curry could opt-out and control his own destiny on a friendlier free agent market in 2019. If the 27-year-old guard endures a rocky return to action, he can opt-in for a second year.
Curry was on the verge of joining Dennis Smith Jr in the Mavericks’ starting backcourt last year. If Portland’s backcourt tinkering is going to be considered a success, Curry will have to regain that form.
—Steve / @SteveDHoops / BEdgeSteve@gmail.com