Curry finalizes $215M extension, Warriors build around him

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry finalized his $215 million, four-year contract extension Friday as the Golden State Warriors began building the roster around the longtime face of the franchise at the start of free agency.

“We’re thrilled to have Stephen in the fold for the next five years, with the vision of him playing his entire career with our franchise,” general manager Bob Myers said. “He epitomizes everything that you’d want in the leader of your basketball team with incredible character, humility, community-minded spirit and a team-oriented approach. On the court, he’s a generational player who has changed the game and won consistently at the highest level.”

This marks the second $200 million-plus contract of Curry’s decorated career that includes three championships. He will earn $48 million for the 2022-23 season, then $51.9 million in ’23-’24, $55.7 million in ’24-’25 and $59.6 million in the final year of the deal.

Earlier in the day, Golden State signed free agent forward Nemanja Bjelica to a one-year contract that will pay him the league minimum and added free agent forward Otto Porter Jr., also on a veteran minimum contract for next season worth $2,389,641.

Bjelica, the veteran big man from Serbia whose name is pronounced NEH-mahn-yah Bee-a-LITZ-ah, is set to earn $2,089,448 given his six years of NBA experience.

“This is the best fit for me right now in the league,” he said.

The 33-year-old Bjelica averaged 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists playing 16.1 minutes over 37 games with three starts between Sacramento and Miami last season.

Bjelica said “across the world I was always cheering for the Warriors,” and can’t wait to play alongside Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Bjelica has been in touch with Andrew Wiggins, too.

He is ready to handle any role for coach Steve Kerr to help the Warriors make another deep playoff run.

“My agent told me Warriors are interested. I didn’t think at all, it took me less than a minute,” he said. “Finally, I’m going to play with the guys like Steph and Klay and Draymond. I played against them for seven years. Now I’m going to be their teammate. … I know why I’m here, this is a winning franchise. It’s an honor and a great opportunity for me to play with the best players in the league.”

Porter averaged 9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 21.7 minutes per game over 28 games with six starts between the Bulls and Magic last season.

Earlier this week, Curry reached agreement on the new deal that takes him through the 2025-26 season, when he will be 38. He has said he might play until he’s 40 and wants to retire with the Warriors.

Curry averaged 32.0 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds and shot 42.1% from 3-point range for the Warriors, who lost in the play-in tournament to Memphis. The two-time MVP shined despite the injured Klay Thompson’s absence for a second straight season.

“We’re blessed and fortunate to have him on our team, and are thankful to be part of an organization, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, that is committed to winning,” Myers added.

Golden State also has agreed to trade power forward Eric Paschall to the Jazz for a 2026 protected second-round draft pick via Memphis. It was the Grizzlies who ended the Warriors’ season in the play-in tournament.

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