When the Golden State Warriors invited former Duke guard Seth Curry to training camp, I don’t think many people were the least bit surprised. After all, nepotism is not a new concept in pro sports. It’s not uncommon for teams to cater to their stars by giving their family and friends an opportunity in a relatively low-risk situation. In some cases, they end up making the team, as was the case with Jordan Palmer, who spent several seasons backing up his brother, Carson Palmer for the Cincinnati Bengals. In most cases, however, nothing of note happens. Seth Curry, however, isn’t just a little brother tagging along for the ride.
While Jordan Palmer played on a smaller stage at UTEP than his brother Carson did at USC, that shoe is on the other foot in the case of the Currys. Their college careers started off similarly. Despite carrying an NBA pedigree both Seth and Stephen Curry were lightly recruited out of high school. With few options, Stephen signed with Davidson College. It was there that he first gained national attention, leading the Wildcats on a Cinderella run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament as a sophomore. He stayed in school one more year, before entering the 2009 draft and being selected 7th overall by the Warriors.
After putting up big numbers at tiny Liberty University his freshman year, Seth decided to challenge himself and transferred to perennial power Duke. After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, things started slow for Seth, who saw his scoring average dip from 20.2 as a freshman to just 9 as a sophomore. He eventually found a rhythm after replacing the injured Kyrie Irving as the starter, and held down the starting point guard spot following Irving’s departure for the NBA. Although limited by a stress fracture in his shin, Seth led the Blue Devils in scoring as a senior, averaging 17.5 points and leading the Dukies to the Elite Eight before being eliminated by eventual National Champion Louisville. Unfortunately for Seth, he wasn’t able to participate in the Draft Combine in Chicago, nor was he able to hold individual workouts for teams prior to the draft due to recovering from shin surgery.
Despite these setbacks, as well as missing both the Orlando and Vegas Summer Leagues, Seth still had his share of suitors. Aside from the Warriors, he received training camp invites from the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Seth ultimately chose to sign with the Warriors, despite there being a logjam at the guard position.
As of today, the Warriors have six guards under contract: the Currys, Kent Bazemore, Toney Douglas, Nemanja Nedovic, and Klay Thompson. Aside from Seth and Bazemore, who has a partial guarantee, all of these contracts are fully guaranteed. I think it goes without saying that Seth has some pretty long odds to make the opening night roster. Looking solely at the young guards, there is a lot to be excited about. Bazemore has kept busy this offseason, showing out during the team’s championship run Vegas, as well as building some street cred playing in the legendary Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park alongside David Lee and Kevin Durant and looks poised to crack the rotation. Nedovic looked fantastic for his native Serbia the other night, as he outdueled Spurs All-Star Tony Parker in the Serbs’ upset victory over France in the EuroBasket Championships.
While it remains to be seen how rusty Seth will be, having missed so much court time, he’s always got a shooter’s chance to catch on as the 14th or 15th man. When healthy, Seth is a deadly shooter. The fact he was able to average nearly 18 a game on one leg says a lot about his stroke. While there are undoubtedly still some aspects of his game that could improve, such as his passing and on ball defense, if he ends up torching defenses like his brother in preseason, he might just play his way onto the opening night roster.[youtube id="zWJJG8x0NUA" width="600" height="350"]