Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Free agents with bigger contracts than Stephen Curry

Examining the 33 recent free agents who will make more money than the league MVP next season.

Stephen Curry has played like a superstar over the past few seasons, but he's still getting paid like a role player.

Next season marks the last year of the four-year, $44 million extension that Curry agreed to in 2012. When Curry signed the contract, he had never made an All-Star team and was struggling with ankle injuries. Because of these factors, the Warriors were able to get away with underpaying their star player, and they used the remaining cap space to build a championship contender.

Curry's cheap contract benefited his team and ultimately helped him win his first championship, but the $12.1 million that he's scheduled to make next season doesn't seem nearly high enough. When you compare the contract to the contracts of many of the free agents who have agreed to deals this offseason, Curry's contract seems absurd.

So far, 33 free agents have signed contracts this offseason that will give them higher salaries than Steph Curry next season. Curry will get his monster contract next season, but until then, here's the list of this year's free agents who have managed to secured bigger contracts than the league's reigning MVP:

  • Mike Conley: Five years, $153 million with Grizzlies ($30.6 million per season)
    Conley's contract isn't just bigger than Curry's; it's the biggest contract in NBA history. Not bad for someone who has never made an All-Star team.

  • Demar DeRozan: Five years, $145 million with Raptors ($29 million per season)
    DeRozan's field goal percentage of 39% in the playoffs was enough to keep the Raptors from competing for a championship, but it wasn't enough to keep the Raptors from offering DeRozan more money per season than Curry made in each of the last two seasons combined.

  • Al Horford: Four years, $113 million with Celtics ($28.3 million per season)
    Horford never won a game outside of the second round of the playoffs during his time with the Hawks, but he did win back-to-back titles in college with Florida, for what it's worth.

  • Kevin Durant: Two years, $54.5 million with Warriors ($27.3 million per season)
    Durant is the only player on this list who is arguably better than Curry, so there shouldn't be any complaints about his contract. However, now that Durant is with the Warriors, Curry will be the fourth highest paid player on his team.

  • Andre Drummond: Five years, $130 million with Pistons ($26 million per season)
    Drummond is a rising star, but he shot under 36% from the free-throw line last season, while Curry shot over 44% from behind the three-point line on the year.

  • Bradley Beal: Five years, $128 million with Wizards ($25.6 million per season)
    Beal said back in January that he might need a minutes restriction for the rest of his NBA career due to injuries, but the Wizards gave him a five-year deal anyway.

  • Hassan Whiteside: Four years, $98 million with Heat ($24.5 million per season)
    Whiteside was playing recreationally at the YMCA just two short years ago, but now he's making the big bucks.

  • Nicolas Batum: Five years, $120 million with Hornets ($24 million per season)
    Batum had a nice bounce-back season with the Hornets, but he still shot under 35% from three last season.

  • Dwyane Wade: Two years, $47.5 million with Bulls ($23.75 million per season)
    Wade's age may have prevented the Heat from increasing their contract offer, but the Bulls swooped in and paid Wade as if he were still in his prime.

  • Chandler Parsons: Four years, $94 million with Grizzlies ($23.5 million per season)
    Parsons's time in Dallas was disappointing, but the Grizzlies are hoping that he can turn things around in Memphis.

  • Harrison Barnes: Four years, $94 million with Mavericks ($23.5 million per season)
    Barnes will replace Parsons in Dallas. He will make almost double of what Curry makes last season even though he shot under 16% from the field in the final three games of the NBA Finals.

  • Dwight Howard: Three years, $70 million with Hawks ($23.3 million per season)
    Howard's 2015-16 season was his worst since he was a rookie, but the Hawks still rewarded him with a $70 million deal.

  • Ryan Anderson: Four years, $80 million with Rockets ($20 million per season)
    Anderson has only played more than 66 games once during his eight year career, but Mike D'Antoni and the Rockets were willing to take risks in order to bring in some shooters.

  • Dirk Nowitzki: Two years, $40 million with Mavericks ($20 million per season)
    Nowitzki is 38 years old, which means he'll be making more money when he's 40 than Curry will be making next season as a 28-year-old.

  • Allen Crabbe: Four years, $75 million with Blazers ($18.8 million per season)
    Crabbe has 17 career starts. Curry started 17 playoff games this season. 

  • Joakim Noah: Four years, $72 million with Knicks ($18 million per season)
    Noah averaged 4.3 points per game last season.

  • Luol Deng: Four years, $72 million with Lakers ($18 million per season)
    The Lakers spent a combined $186 million on Deng, Mozgov, and Clarkson this offseason. That's what happens when guys like Kevin Durant refuse to even meet with you.

  • Bismack Biyombo: Four years, $72 million with Magic ($18 million per season)
    Biyombo has never averaged more than two field goals made per game in a season throughout his five-year career. Curry made more than four three-pointers per game last season.

  • Evan Turner: Four years, $70 million with Blazers ($17.5 million per season)
    Turner only started 12 games last season.

  • Kent Bazemore: Four years, $70 million with Hawks ($17.5 million per season)
    It seems like just yesterday Bazemore was celebrating Steph Curry three-pointers from the Warriors' bench. He helped convince Curry to sign with Under Armour at the time, and now Bazemore has the biggest contract of any of Under Armour's NBA players.

  • Evan Fournier: Five years, $85 million with Magic ($17 million per season)
    Fournier was a pleasant surprise for Orlando last season, helping him go from an unknown player to a slightly less unknown player.

  • Timofey Mozgov: Four years, $64 million with Lakers ($16 million per season)
    Mozgov only played 76 playoff minutes during the Cavs' championship run, and even though he was on the bench for most of it, his team did defeat Curry's team in the Finals.

  • Ian Mahinmi: Four years, $64 million with Wizards ($16 million per season)
    Mahinmi averaged a career-high 9.3 points per game last season.

  • Jeff Green: One year, $15 million with Magic ($15 million per season)
    The Clippers brought Green in last season hoping he could fill the void at small forward, but he didn't even play well enough to unseat Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from his starting position.

  • Pau Gasol: Two years, $30 million with Spurs ($15 million per season)
    Gasol put up solid numbers last season, but his team failed to make the playoffs in spite of their talented roster.

  • Jamal Crawford: Three years, $42 million with Clippers ($14 million per season)
    Crawford hasn't been a full-time starter for a team since 2009, which was the year that Steph Curry was drafted.

  • Rajon Rondo: Two years, $28 million with Bulls ($14 million per season)
    Rondo used all of the energy that he saved from not playing defense to average a career-high 11.7 assists per game last season.

  • Marvin Williams: Four years, $54.5 million with Hornets ($13.6 million per season)
    Williams has been viewed as a draft bust for years because he was drafted right before Chris Paul and Deron Williams, but maybe he's just entering his prime now.

  • Eric Gordon: Four years, $53 million with Rockets ($13.3 million per season)
    Gordon has missed an average of almost 30 games per season due to injuries since entering the league eight years ago.

  • Jordan Clarkson: Four years, $50 million with Lakers ($12.5 million per season)
    Clarkson is often listed as a point guard, but he only averaged 2.4 assists per game during his sophomore campaign with the Lakers last season.

  • Arron Afflalo: Two years, $25 million with Kings ($12.5 million per season)
    The Kings will be Afflalo's fifth different team since 2014.

  • Courtney Lee: Four years, $50 million with Knicks ($12.5 million per season)
    Lee will join forces with Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, which means he may go weeks without seeing the ball. Joakim Noah may be the team's best passer.

  • Tyler Johnson: Four years, $50 million with Heat ($12.5 million per season)
    Johnson scored 314 points last season. It took Curry less than 10 games to score his 314th point last season.

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