Seth Curry can relax a little, right?
Since going undrafted out of Duke in 2013, the 6-foot-2 guard has played in the NBA Development League and had brief stints in Memphis, Cleveland and Phoenix.
He now has a two-year guaranteed contract for $1.96 million with the Kings, assuring he will be on the opening night roster against the Los Angeles Clippers. But that’s not how Curry, the younger brother of Golden State star Stephen Curry, is approaching the season.
“I wouldn’t say more relaxed,” Curry said after Thursday’s practice at UC San Diego. “I think it just gives me a sense of trying to fit in with the team and find my role instead of just trying to make the team. But I still have the same sense of urgency that I’ve had in the past.”
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Curry caught the Kings’ attention with a spectacular showing during summer league in Las Vegas, where he averaged 24.3 points for New Orleans. Curry impressed with his savvy and perimeter shooting, two assets coveted by Kings general manager Vlade Divac while revamping the roster.
New Orleans seemed to be the logical destination for Curry.
Curry caught the Kings’ attention with a spectacular showing during summer league in Las Vegas, where he averaged 24.3 points for New Orleans.
“I felt like there was a good chance I’d be in New Orleans, but you never know what’s going to happen, roster-wise and stuff like that,” Curry said. “I never said I was going to be there. I had an open mind, and I was just trying to play well and earn respect around the league, and I’m still trying to do that.”
The Kings offered a two-year deal with a player option for the second season before New Orleans could act.
“This was one of the best offers and best roster situations,” Curry said. “It’s a young team and a big roster overturn with a lot of guys trying to prove themselves like myself. So it’s a great opportunity for me.”
Curry can play either point or shooting guard. If his outside shot is falling, he will make a strong case to be in the regular-season rotation.
There is plenty of competition for minutes at guard. Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison are the primary point guards. Ben McLemore and Marco Belinelli could get most of the time at shooting guard.
“Seth is pretty explosive and impressive at times,” said Kings coach George Karl. “Again, rookies, young players have trouble finding a consistency, finding a personality on a team. This would be a different camp if this team had been together, but you have 10 guys searching for their part and what they’re going to be. So no one is allowing someone to have an opportunity. It’s a fight.”
Curry finds Karl’s system liberating. He said training camp is giving all the players a chance to compete and is excited that Karl encourages players to make decisions.
(Karl) gives you a lot of freedom, as long as you know how to play the game. I pride myself on my basketball and making plays without actual plays being called.
“(Karl) gives you a lot of freedom, as long as you know how to play the game,” Curry said. “I pride myself on my basketball and making plays without actual plays being called.”
That opportunity and a chance to finally make his mark in the NBA keep Curry from being content.
Although Curry’s contract is guaranteed, playing time is not. And he wants to do more than cheer on his teammates. He has been on several NBA teams and been a D-League All-Star. Now it’s time to show he’s not a fringe NBA player.
“Just trying to come out here and solidify my spot,” Curry said. “I don’t just want to be on the team, I want to help it, make an impact and help this team win.”
Cousins from deep – Karl said last season he believed center DeMarcus Cousins could make more than 30 percent of his shots from three-point range.
Cousins, who has made 11 of 69 three-point attempts in his career (15.9 percent), has worked on his three-point shot over the summer. But Karl isn’t sure when his All-Star center should attempt threes.
“I think that’s yet to be determined,” Karl said. “My big thing with the shot selection, not only with DeMarcus, (is) I like ‘we shots’ and not ‘me shots,’ and sometimes that’s hard to define. Sometimes when a guy is hot, a ‘me’ shot is a ‘we’ shot.
Karl added that “we could have some trouble with shot selection with some of the guys” but expects that to improve over the course of training camp.
Guest viewing – Former Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks will attend Friday’s practice. Karl likes to have different perspectives and invited Brooks to watch the Kings.
Key dates for Kings
- Saturday: Training camp at UC San Diego concludes
- Monday: First exhibition game, at Portland, 7 p.m.
- Thursday: First exhibition home game, vs. San Antonio, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 28: Season opener, vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Sleep Train Arena, 7 p.m.