Posted Dec 7 2011 5:39PM - Updated Dec 8 2011 6:16AM
Oakland, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Curry woke up Wednesday morning to a flurry of text messages from friends and family back home wondering about the trade talk surrounding the Golden State Warriors point guard.
"Seven text messages saying `Hornets, question mark,"' Curry said, chuckling.
With the latest round of NBA chatter surrounding the point guard, Curry said that he has been told by Warriors general manager Larry Riley and new coach Mark Jackson that he is "safe and secure" with the only franchise he has ever known.
At least for now.
The latest buzz with Curry involves New Orleans guard Chris Paul, who holds a player option for next season but has been reluctant to sign an extension with the Hornets and could opt for free agency in the summer if he's not traded. The Warriors have refused to part ways with Curry in any such deal because of his favorable contract and upside, and there's a more pressing need for an experienced center.
Nothing short of a blockbuster deal that nets the franchise considerable return will likely change that mindset.
"They want me here," Curry said. "Obviously, there's the business of basketball and there are things that may happen with a GM having to make a decision for the best interest of the team. When you have a guy like Chris Paul, who is a franchise player, that's something you really have to think about it with anybody on the roster. I understand that. I'm not going to be upset if they entertained that."
New owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have promised to make splashy signings and bold moves to revamp a team that has made the playoffs just once since 1994. The brass hired Jackson as a first-time coach, former agent Bob Myers as assistant general manager and respected executive Jerry West as a board member this summer.
All they need now is wins.
As has been the case the last two years, almost any major deal for the Warriors would involve parting ways with Curry or backcourt teammate Monta Ellis. Nobody understands that more than Curry, whose name generates more inquiries into Golden State than anybody on the roster.
"It's nice to be in the conversation with a guy like that," Curry said of Paul. "I know myself, I'd be part of a package, but that's something that's going to happen when you're in this career, in this business, and you've got to run with it."
Even while working out, it's not exactly easy for Curry and others to overlook trade talk.
Lacob peered down from his office window above the Warriors practice court Wednesday, watching players compete in a four-on-four half-court game and run sprints and other conditioning drills supervised by trainers. Riley, Jackson and other members of the coaching staff also looked out of their office windows on occasion.
The voluntary workouts, of course, have no coaches involved until a new collective bargaining agreement can be ratified. Ellis and center Andris Biedrins showed up at the facility for the first time since the NBA lockout, although they didn't participate. Training camp is expected to open Friday.
"We just really can't wait to get going for real," said second-round pick Jeremy Tyler, who became the first American-born player to drop out of high school for a professional basketball career overseas in 2009 until he was eligible for the draft this year. "Been waiting a long time for this chance. Just glad it's finally here."
Golden State's biggest need is still size.
The Warriors pledged to be active in trade discussions, and free agent centers Tyson Chandler and Nene are among the franchise's top targets. With teams not allowed to officially sign free agents until Friday, the roster is sure to be in flux until Golden State opens the regular season at home against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 25.
Even after that, there's no guarantee.
"It's just different," Curry said. "It's a good possibility there's going to be some new faces in here after training camp all the way up until Christmas."
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