AP Source: Warriors, Curry agree to $44M extension

ANTONIO GONZALEZ AP Sports Writer Published:

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors and point guard Stephen Curry have agreed to a $44 million, four-year contract extension, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending, said Curry is expected to sign the contract before Wednesday night's season opener at the Phoenix Suns. It was the final day Golden State could sign Curry to an extension or he would become a free agent next summer.

Curry also tweeted that he had agreed on a new deal and thanked owner Joe Lacob. The Bay Area News Group first reported the extension.

Curry missed 40 of 66 games last season and sprained his twice-surgically repaired right ankle again in the preseason. New Warriors general manager Bob Myers and Lacob felt Curry was still worth the risk given the point guard's production when healthy.

Golden State also got Curry at somewhat of a discount. Ty Lawson signed a four-year, $48 million extension with the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Without the ankle issues, Curry would've likely commanded at least that much.

The 24-year-old Curry averaged career lows of 14.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds last season. He has still proven to be one of the NBA's most prolific shooters when he's on the court. Curry has shot 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range in his first three seasons.

The Warriors are counting on Curry to form half of the new franchise tandem.

Curry is expected to team with center Andrew Bogut, who didn't play in the preseason. The team has said Bogut has not had any setbacks on his surgically repaired left ankle, which he fractured on Jan. 25 while with Milwaukee and missed the rest of the season.

Bogut came to Golden State in a swap for guard Monta Ellis, among others, before last season's trade deadline. Bogut had hoped to return for the season opener, but the team has not set any deadline, and even if the 7-footer from Australia played it likely won't be for extended minutes.

Curry sat out the last two exhibitions after he sprained his right ankle at Portland but is expected to play in the season opener. The former Davidson star, drafted seventh overall by the Warriors in 2009, had arthroscopic surgery in April and had surgery to repair a tendon in the ankle in the summer of 2011.

The Bogut-Curry combo has enough support around it for the Warriors to believe they have a strong shot to make the playoffs for only the second time since 1994 -- if all can stay healthy, which hasn't been the case in recent seasons.

Power forward David Lee, who has averaged close to a double-double most of his career and missed the end of last season following surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle, will start along with second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson and seventh overall pick Harrison Barnes of North Carolina at small forward.

Golden State is deeper than in recent years, too. Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and Richard Jefferson fill out a veteran bench complementing rookies Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli.

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP