Curry, Wright Willing to Play Overseas if Necessary

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and forward Dorell Wright said they are considering playing overseas if the NBA lockout extends into the season.
Neither has a deal in place or a destination set, but they could end up in the same location.

“China is looking promising,” Curry said via text message. “There’s no deal yet on the table, but my agent is going to entertain offers and see what happens. If it works, I’ll go.”

Wright said China would be his first choice. He has an endorsement deal with Peak, a Chinese basketball shoe company.

“I would definitely like to play in China,” Wright said via text. “But I’m open to other options. I’m going to China for a week (in August), so I’ll definitely see how it is.”

Curry said his priority is rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right ankle and finishing up his degree at Davidson. He also is getting married at the end of this month.

He expects to be 100 percent healthy and ready to play basketball by November. If the NBA is still shut down by the lockout, Curry said, he is more than willing to look elsewhere.

Curry’s agent, Lance Young, cautions that such options aren’t close to fruition. The lockout would have to extend into October before playing overseas becomes an option. Even then, several caveats
would need to be negotiated — such as opt-out clauses in case the NBA commences while a player is playing overseas.

But Curry and Wright expressed eagerness for continued development. Curry, 23, has two NBA seasons under his belt and is the Warriors’ point guard of the future. Wright, 25, just finished his seventh season, but it was his first as a major player on a team. He set career-highs in games (82), minutes per game (38.4) and scoring average (16.4). A year off might be counterproductive for both.

What’s more, if a lockout cancels the 2011-12 NBA season, Wright would lose $3.8 million in salary. Curry stands to lose just over $3 million.

“The money doesn’t hurt,” Curry said, “but it’s more for the competitive edge.”

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams made news earlier this month when word got out that he had an agreement to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout canceled the season. Now, players all over the league are considering taking their talents abroad, even at the risk of getting injured and jeopardizing their NBA contracts. Why?

“Basketball,” Wright said. “Playing basketball is my job, and I love it.”

Marcus Thompson