Advice to NBA: Ignore Seth Curry at your peril

tsorensen@charlotteobserver.comJune 25, 2013 

         If I’m an NBA general manager, I do not invest a second-round draft pick on Seth Curry because he’s the son of former Charlotte Hornets shooter Dell Curry or the younger brother of Golden State star Stephen Curry.

     I look at my roster, assess what I have and project what I need. Do I need a smart (all right, savvy or heady) guard who can play a little point and is a consistent threat to hit the three?

     If so, I take Curry in the second round of the NBA draft. And if I need such a player after the draft, and Curry is unclaimed, I attempt to claim him.

If somebody says you’re savvy or heady, it means you aren’t a terribly impressive athlete. Curry isn’t.

But he moves nicely without the ball, like a wide receiver finding holes in a Cover 2 zone. He has strong wrists and a quick release. And every time he puts up a three you expect it to go in.

Curry averaged 17.5 points for Duke last season and shot 43.8 percent behind the three-point line.  He compiled those numbers while playing with a stress fracture in his right shin. He spent more time in rehab than in practice, more time with the trainer than with teammates.

If you’ve never had a stress fracture, I don’t recommend it. I had one in my left shin. The leg feels fine, finally, and you go out and run a few miles. You limp the rest of the week because the shin  was only pretending.

Curry never complained or invoked the injury after a bad game. Or course, he doesn’t say much even after a good game. But playing hurt and refusing to parlay an injury into an excuse is what pros (ought to) do, right?

Curry has been able to move now for a week. Reportedly he is working out at the extensive IMG camp in Bradenton, Fla.

Stephen Curry is easier to find. He’s running a basketball camp at Charlotte Christian, the high school from which he and Seth graduated.

 “Whether he gets drafted or not, a team will be making a great decision by bringing him into camp,” Stephen says about Seth. “The same questions that were brought up about my game and how it transitions to the NBA, he’s going through that same criticism. But I think the way he shoots the ball and the way he can score will be a high value for the team.”

Behind Stephen is a poster promoting the basketball camp, and Stephen stands directly in front of his face. He turns and sees it.

“Very, very awkward,” Stephen says. “Very awkward.”

Back to his brother: “Like I told Seth going into this process, he’ll end up in the right place,” says Stephen. “It could be a journey, just expect that.”

Then he invokes Danny Green, the new role model for all second-round picks and free-agents.

Green, who played at North Carolina, was selected by Cleveland in the second round of the 2009 draft. He went in the middle of the round, immediately after Nick Calathes and immediately before Henk Norel. Green has since played for teams in Erie, Pa., Reno, Nev., Austin, Tex., and Slovenia. He's had two stints with San Antonio.

San Antonio is where the journey appears to end. Green set a record by hitting 27 threes in the NBA Finals against Miami.

Green is 6-6. Curry is 6-3 – in shoes, 6-1 or 6-2 without them.

“We’re going to surprise people just like Stephen did,” says Jeff Austin, managing director of Octagon Basketball. Octagon represented Dell, and represents Stephen and Seth.

The Currys do that. Stephen and Seth were lightly recruited out of high school. Stephen went to Davidson, Seth to Liberty, where in his first season he averaged 20.2 points and led freshmen nationally in scoring.

Duke didn’t recruit Seth out of high school. Neither did Virginia Tech, where Dell starred in basketball and his wife, Sonya, starred at volleyball.

There were questions about Stephen out of Davidson. Would what worked against Furman work against the New York Knicks? The NBA knew. Golden State selected him with the seventh pick in the 2009 draft, immediately behind Jonny Flynn and immediately in front of Jordan Hill.

Stephen is 2½ years older than Seth, an inch taller and a soon-to-be all-star point guard.

Seth is an underdog. But the shin is good, the shot is true and the draft is Thursday.

Austin smiles. It’s one of those weary smiles people offer when they think they see something the rest of the world fails to.

“By now you wouldn’t think anybody would doubt the Currys,” he says.

Sorensen: 704-358-5119; tsorensen@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @tomsorensen

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