Seth Curry is entering his seventh NBA season. The 30-year old’s professional basketball journey is a stark contrast to that of his older brother Steph Curry. The more senior Curry is a two-time league MVP and six-time all-star after being selected seventh in the 2009 NBA draft.
Seth went undrafted coming out of Duke in 2013. Later that year, he was signed by the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G-League, where he averaged 20 points per game. The following year he found himself playing for the Erie Bayhawks, the Orlando Magic G-League affiliate. However, his persistence and development have enabled him to play in 256 NBA games over the past six years, albeit donning six different uniforms.
“My journey was having to earn it every step of the way, going back to high school and college,” Curry said in a recent Zoom call. “I had to earn my respect and show that I belong by doing it on the court. A lot of times, guys are drafted on potential and are given a spot. I have had to earn my opportunities.”
Curry’s most recent opportunity was playing for the Dallas Mavericks last season. Curry averaged 12.4 points per game and shot a career-best 45.2 percent from three-point range, third-best in the NBA behind George Hill and JJ Redick.
Ironically, the absence of Redick for the Sixers last season may have created the organization’s desire to go out and get Curry. Redick, a guy like Curry who has a reputation for knocking down shots from behind the arc, left via free agency to join the Pelicans following the 2018-19 season. Before his departure, Redick helped the Sixers rank seventh and then fourth in points per game during his two-year stint in Philadelphia. Last year the Sixers dropped to 20th in scoring, in large part because they lacked an outside shooting threat such as Redick.
“I score in a little bit of a different way than JJ,” Curry said. “I put it on the floor a little more. We both can shoot the ball. Whatever Joel [Embiid] is comfortable with and what he and JJ used to run, I am trying to come in and make life easier for him and Ben. I feel like my game can adapt. That is why I have been able to have a successful career thus far because I can do many different things on the offensive side of the floor. Whatever situation [Head Coach] Doc [Rivers] and the team put me in, I feel I can thrive in it.”
What Redick and Embiid thrived on two seasons ago was running dribble hand-offs [DHO]. The Sixers ranked first in the NBA, averaging 9.5 DHO per game, and they were No. 1 in scoring frequency off that action. Last year they dropped to the middle of the pack. Curry knows that he and newly acquired Danny Green are here to stretch the floor with their expertise, and in doing so, create space for the team’s two all-stars. In Curry’s mind, he is the ideal backcourt partner for Ben Simmons.
“He is a good player,” Curry said of Simmons. “You want to play with as many good players as possible. Ben is one of the best guys in this league on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively. When he is going downhill, no one can stay in front of him one-on-one, so they have to bring help putting two guys in front of him, preventing him from getting a lay-up.
“That is where guys like myself and Danny can help him out by creating space for him to drive and knocking down shots. I think he and I are a perfect match; he is a bigger ball-handler who can make plays and defend multiple positions, and I am a smaller scorer who spreads the floor, shoots, scores in multiple ways, and guards smaller guys and point guards. I am looking forward to working with him.”
Curry has experience playing with such a talent as Simmons; Luka Doncic is a 6’7 creative guard whom he teamed up with in Dallas. While Doncic is a far more prolific scorer (28.8 PPG) than Simmons, both players finished in the top ten in assists last season, with Simmons averaging eight and Doncic nearly nine. Doncic was also the leading rebounder among shooting guards (9.4 RPG), while Simmons finished second among point guards with 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Seth Curry doesn’t come with all the accolades his brother has achieved, but he appears to be the brother this city can come to appreciate and love for being the right fit on a team that has championship aspirations.
“I feel like I was built to be in that spotlight in some sense,” Curry said of being compared to Steph. “It got larger when Steph became an MVP candidate and one of the best in the league, but it is no different for me in my process and the way I go about doing things. I know who I am as a player, and I try to maximize what I do.”
It sounds like Seth Curry is about to show us his Philly max!