Seth Curry – To Believe or Not to Believe?
Since the all star break, Chris Paul and John Wall find themselves neighbors in value to a familiar surname. On Basketball Monster, Seth Curry, at 25, is followed by Wall at 26 and Paul at 27. The ‘other’ curry, Steph, comes in around 15. The Curry combo have recently established themselves as the best brother duo, overthrowing the aging Gasols and the struggling Lopez twins. While superstardom isn’t realistic, there is very compelling evidence Seth Curry can join his brother as a mainstay on fantasy squads and can put together a couple top 50 fantasy seasons over the next few years.
On the season as a whole, Seth Curry has been a top 80ish player, while posting top 30 stat lines in February and March. With 61 games in the books this season, it has become increasingly difficult to exclude him from the discussion of the best shooters in the NBA. On the season, Curry has shot 48% from the field, 43% from three and 84% from the line. Since the all star break, those splits have been a blistering 55%, 52% and 95%. Including last season, Seth Curry ranks 2nd in the NBA in 3 point percentage for those who have made over 170 threes, just ahead of Steph, C.J. McCollum and Kyle Korver. Digging deeper into his shooting splits and advanced stats only makes the case for Seth Curry even more compelling.
Klay Thompson, J.J Redick and Kyle Korver, the who’s who of floor spacing shooting guards of the past few years, rarely create their own shots. Of those three, Klay creates the highest percentage of his own threes, with only 89.3% of his shots assisted. Seth Curry sits at 74.6% assisted. Additionally, Seth shoots 54.4% on corner threes, the highest quality location for most shooters, but only takes 21% of his threes from the corner versus career averages of 28.8% for Korver and Klay. Long story short, Seth Curry isn’t a modern day Bruce Bowen padding shooting stats with open corner threes. Seth is putting up elite numbers while creating on his own and shooting from distance off the dribble. The only guy with a clearly better combination of efficiency and degree of difficulty is half human, half shooting robot Steph Curry.*
We get it, Seth can shoot, but can he play? Great question! I was late to the Seth Curry partner, and just two weeks ago, Seth’s sustainability was strongly doubted on The Dynasty Guru basketball podcast. He’s 26 year olds, 6’2 and a shooting guard who doesn’t seem to be particularly fleet of foot. He is most definitely not an elite defender, but there are signs he is competent. His defensive real plus minus is a below average, but not horrible, -0.71 on the season. His defensive box plus minus, a metric with the same intent, but different algorithm, is -0.1, which is basically average for a starting shooting guard. Someone who is a lights out shooter, can create on their own and plays passable defense, belongs in the NBA. In a significantly less mathy analysis, the Mavericks have been winning with him starting and playing 33 minutes a game.
I’m a believer! Given his minimal utility in rebounds, assists and blocks and he has a clear ceiling, but I would bet on him to continue to get time and see him knocking on the door of the top 50 for the next few years. Think CJ McCollum light. Since he is isn’t a youngin at 26 and doesn’t have superstar potential, that puts him in the top 75 range. To put some names to the ranking, I’d have him near top of tier including names like Elfrid Payton, Harrison Barnes, Reggie Jackson and Nikola Vucevic.
*Steph Curry, in his career, has had 61% of his threes assisted, 14.5% from the corner, takes 7.6 threes a game and still shoots 44% on his career. Those splits are insane. Fatigue happens with greatness, but try not to let it. Steph’s shooting is otherworldly and should be regularly fawned over.