The 2018 off-season proved once again to be must watch television as several franchise level players found themselves trading in their home colors. LeBron James took his talents to Hollywood, DeMarcus Cousins took the veteran minimum to join the defending champion Warriors, and in one of the biggest head scratching sagas in recent memory we saw disgruntled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard sent to Toronto in exchange for a fiercely loyal DeMar DeRozan. We saw other high-caliber players lock into their clubs long-term with contract extensions like Nikola Jokic (DEN), Paul George (OKC), Chris Paul (HOU). While these were the transactions that snagged the national media headlines, the Trailblazers made a calculated move that may pay big dividends this season with the signing of Shooting Guard Seth Curry to a one-year deal.
Seth Curry, the younger brother of Golden State Warriors phenom Steph Curry and son of former NBA player Dell Curry, missed playing for the Dallas Mavericks all of last season with a fractured left tibia that required surgery in February. Prior to his injury, Curry had his best season averaging 12.9 points while shooting 42.5% from the 3-point range. Curry is a dynamic combo guard who is capable of breaking down defenders off the dribble while also possessing a deadly jumper from both mid and long range. Curry is capable of scoring in bunches and his competitive drive makes him a better than average defender on the wing.
Seth’s NBA story may lack the storybook allure of his brother Steph, who as an undersized, under recruited guard took a smaller Atlantic 10 division Davidson on a Cinderella Elite-8 run in the NCAA Tournament; but is no less impressive. Playing under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, Seth learned how to be a floor general while stepping out from his brother’s shadow. Never lacking confidence, Seth saw his production at Duke increase year-over-year averaging 21.7ppg on 46% shooting and 43.8% from beyond the arc his senior season. The progress he made in college however didn’t overcome the fact that the league had changed. Dynamic point guard play was a must for NBA teams and the 3-point ball was all the rage. Small combo guards (6’1” 180lbs), even ones that could shoot the lights out were a dime a dozen. Seth went undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft. Undeterred, Seth continued to work on his game with the hopes of getting a break through either a 10-day contract or a pickup on a G-League team.
Seth would get his opportunity with the developmental Santa Cruz Warriors where he averaged 19.7 points while shooting 43.7% from the field and making the 2013-14 G-League All-Rookie team. Seth would play single games with Memphis and Cleveland during the NBA regular season that year but didn’t show enough to get a permanent call up.
The 2014-15 season, Seth would continue to show improvement in his game for the Erie BayHawks where he would average 23.8 points on 48.4% shooting and 46.7% from 3-point range. Curry would end the season 2nd in scoring for the G-League and made the ALL-NBA Development League team. His growth and proven production earned him his first NBA contract with the Sacramento Kings. Seth would play 44 games with the Kings before being waived at the end of the 2015-16 season. The Dallas Mavericks had seen enough to take a flier on the sharpshooter in a free-flowing offense designed by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. Seth would end up flourishing in the system playing in 70 games and starting in 42. He would average 12.8 points on 48.1% shooting and 42.5% from beyond the ARC.
The steady rise of the sharpshooter hit an unfortunate snag last season when he suffered a stress fracture in his lower leg. After trying to rehab, it was determined that the best course of action was to have surgery in February. Seth would miss the entire 2017-18 campaign and become an unrestricted free agent.
At nearly 100%, Seth was signed by the Trailblazers on a one-year deal and is looking to remind the league that Steph isn’t the only Curry capable of making some noise. In Coach Stotts’ spread offense, Curry should be able to come in and immediately pick up the slack that they never quite captured after the loss of Allen Crabbe in 2017. Seth’s ability to handle the ball, attack the rim and shoot with accuracy will make it difficult for teams to bottle up Dame and CJ the same way New Orleans was able to do in the playoffs. The ever confident Curry will be a welcome addition and should provide a punch off the bench as the Blazers look to improve upon last year’s playoff exit. Like the Blazers, Curry has something to prove and it should be exciting to watch this season!