The year he spent with the Portland Trail Blazers last season turned out to be a teaching tool for Seth Curry.
And he hopes to show the Dallas Mavericks some of what he learned.
“I experienced some big games, big-time moments,” Curry said following Monday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “Just getting back on the court for 80-85 games last season was big for my overall growth as a player.
“So hopefully I can bring that at the beginning of this year.”
Curry spent the 2016-’18 seasons with the Mavs before leaving via free agency in the summer of 2018 to ink a one-year deal with Portland. However, after playing last season for a Trail Blazers team that won 53 games and eventually lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Curry hit the free agent market this summer.
While Curry couldn’t wait to get back to the Mavs, he also pointed out something else that was very important and very personal to his free agency situation.
“It was the first time I had a lot of options in free agency,” he said. “So, I was taking everything into account, and this was the best fit overall from on the court to off the court.”
Off the court, Curry likes the bond the Mavs have developed. All the players like one another, he said, and don’t mind hanging out with one another.
On the court? What’s not to like when superstars like Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are there to create space by making sure defenders don’t gang up on their teammates?
When asked about that, Curry noted that there should be “a lot of space” between him and the basket because of the presence of Doncic and Porzingis.
“I don’t ever think guys will leave me wide open, but hopefully I can create space for those guys by my presence out there,” Curry said. “Obviously, they’re going to have the ball a lot and they’re both willing and great passers.
“So, it should be a lot of fun playing with those guys and as the season goes along. They’re aggressive, so they’re going to get a lot of attention.”
After languishing with Memphis, Cleveland, Phoenix and Sacramento during a three-year span during the formative years of his career, Curry had his breakout NBA season during the 2016-’17 campaign with the Mavs when he averaged career highs in points (12.8), rebounds (2.5), assists (2.7), minutes (29), games started (42), field-goal shooting (48.1 percent) and free-throw accuracy (85 percent).
However, Curry missed the entire 2017-’18 season with a left tibia injury that eventually required surgery. Then came the move to Portland last season when he played a career-high 90 games counting the 16 he played for the Blazers in the playoffs.
“His biggest improvement was his health situation,” coach Rick Carlisle. “He’s gotten stronger, he’s gotten his legs back under him after the one year where he missed.”
And that’s not all.
“He’s had a really good training camp,” Carlisle said. “He’s one of the best shooters in the game, and no team in this league right now can have too much shooting.”
Since Dallas is the place where his career jumped-started, Curry knew this is the place where his career could take more leaps.
“I missed a great organization, a great team,” he said. “It’s a team that continues to build with the young pieces that they have.
“You can see Luka getting better as the season went along. And KP getting back here and getting back healthy, it should be a good step in the right direction for this franchise.”
And a good step in the right direction for Curry. Which is why he signed a four-year deal with the Mavs over the summer.