When word leaked out about the Mavericks signing Seth Curry to a modest 2-year, $6 million deal, I leaned back in my chair and basically impersonated the thinking face emoji. I only knew a handful of things about Seth Curry at that time:
- He is the younger brother Stephen Curry and the son of Dell Curry, both humans who are/were great at shooting balls through hoops in the National Basketball Association.
- Seth Curry went to Duke to play college basketball and did well.
- Seth Curry hit some back-breaking threes against the Mavericks in late March, when I pondered "who the f@#% is Seth Curry" and proceeded to learn about the first two bullet points above.
When I broke down the Mavericks new roster recently, I did a tad more homework on Seth and learned that he was basically an NBA nomad for the past couple years who could always shoot but could never find a spot in the rotation because of a mixture of his stature and athleticism. He's not especially small at 6'2' but he's not especially tall or athletic for his position either. He was never much of a playmaker in college and small-ish guards who can't play point or at least run a pick and roll don't last too long in the league, regardless of shooting.
That's why Seth's little breakout at the end of March and through April was nice to see -- he was running point, running pick and rolls and while he wasn't always making plays for his teammates (his 15-assist game late in the season was a bit of an outlier that inflated his assist stats that month) he was making plays at least for himself, scoring well and keeping the Kings offense humming.
When I watched his highlights from his 20-point, 15-assist game against the Suns back in April, one thing stood out to me. It smacked me in the face. Here's the clip to see if you can find it first.
OK, I'll give you a couple of minutes to scrub through the footage and see the moment that sticks out.
*crosses legs in seat*
*starts up Pokemon Go*
*curses at lack of good Pokemon near chair*
Alright, pencils down. Here it is:
You know who Seth looks like in that gif? HE LOOKS LIKE STEPH DESTROYER OF WORLDS CURRY. The rush to the corner to get a three after a scrambling defense tries to snuff out a pick and roll. The coy pump-fake to send a defender flying. The calm and cool dribble to help keep his balance during the spin move. The awareness to make sure he's behind the three-point line and not hoisting a long-two.
He looks like he sucked the powers from his older brother like a Monstar and absorbed them into his own body.
That sold me. Seth Curry could turn out to be a pile of dumpster garbage but I'll always have those few seconds I discovered the Mavericks signed Steph Curry's stunt-double.
The nice part about Seth is that sure, he could turn out to be a pile of dumpster garbage but he's a refreshing way for the Mavericks to approach roster building. The Mavs have always been great at letting other teams do their drafting for them (Darren Collison, Brandan Wright, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chandler Parsons) and Seth could be the next one. What's refreshing about Seth isn't that he could be another 24-25 year-old dude the Mavs pick off the scrap heap and rehabilitate but that he's all that and replacing an older, more washed up vet.
Dallas gave the money they gave to Seth they could have given to Raymond Felton. As the Mavericks free agency doomsday clocked ticked closer to zero after Parsons, Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside all went elsewhere, we were left with the grave possibility of "Raymond Felton: Starting Point Guard." Nothing against Felton, who did great work filling in holes for a Mavs team that was leaking all over the place. But as much as I love Felton's heroics in Game 2 against the Thunder in April and that series in general, I was petrified of the Mavs giving the four-year, J.J. Barea "loyalty" contract to a guard who is on the wrong side of 30, had a PER less than 12 last season and shot 28 percent from three.
Instead they gave it to the unproven but talented 25-year-old who could be like a "J.J. Barea but taller" in Rick Carlisle's offense. Even if Seth never steals his brother's powers again, that's a win.