Seth Curry seeking first legitimate NBA opportunity

by Jim Eichenhofer

New Orleans associate head coach Darren Erman describes the ultra-brief NBA experience of four Pelicans summer-league players as a “cup of coffee,” but for guard Seth Curry, it’s been more like a sip. Since graduating from Duke University two years ago, the younger brother of the league’s reigning MVP has been signed to 10-day contracts by three teams – Memphis, Cleveland and Phoenix – but has only appeared in four regular season games. Curry’s combined total of 21 minutes of playing time in the NBA equates to less than a single 24-minute half.

To say that Curry hasn’t been given a reasonable chance to show what he can do is an understatement: the perimeter marksman is 1-for-2 from three-point range in the NBA. He’s only taken six shots from the field and hasn’t played more than nine minutes for any of his three clubs.

“I haven’t really gotten the opportunity to actually get on an NBA floor and show that I can play well at that level,” said the 24-year-old, who averaged 23.2 points and shot a red-hot 46.7 percent on three-pointers in the D-League last season. “I mean, I’ve played well in summer league before, I’ve played well in the D-League. But when I’ve gotten called up (to the NBA), I haven’t really gotten a chance to get on the floor and stick. Hopefully I get that opportunity soon.”

Curry believes he’s an excellent fit for the summer Pelicans’ system, which will likely resemble what Golden State used en route to winning the 2015 NBA title, with Alvin Gentry as lead assistant. Curry hopes another stellar showing in summer league improves his chances of earning a better opportunity to stay long-term with an NBA franchise, including the Pelicans.

“The system is good for me, personally,” Curry said of the attack brother Stephen spearheaded to the league’s No. 1 ranking in pace in 2014-15. “Getting up and down, playing fast, that pace that Coach Gentry likes to play, and then having players on this (Pelicans regular season) team that command attention. I think I can come in and spread the floor and bring that shooting punch that they haven’t really had in the past.

“I think it helps a lot (to be familiar with Gentry’s system). Having my brother be in that system the last year. I’ve talked to him a lot. I’ve talked to Coach Gentry about it over the past few weeks. Watching it up close, I think it fits my style of play.”

Curry was named to the All-D-League first team after proving to be one of the circuit’s most dangerous scorers in 2014-15. As a member of the Erie Bayhawks, he had eight games of 30-plus points. He also connected on five or more three-pointers 11 times, in a total of just 43 games.

“I think it helped me a lot,” Curry said of his performance in the NBA’s developmental circuit. “You want to continue to play well. You don’t want to have a down year at a different level. People are watching. They saw what I did last year. That’s one of the reasons I’m here.”