Charlottean Seth Curry practiced patience the past few months, hoping the stress reaction in his left tibia would heal naturally in time to help the Dallas Mavericks this season.
Patience expired this week: Curry is scheduled for surgery to insert a rod in his tibia to stabilize the leg, after months of inactivity. Curry, who starred at Duke after playing for Charlotte Christian, will be an unrestricted free agent in July. He should be recovered from this surgery before then.
Partially due to injury, Curry went unselected in the 2013 draft. He played portions of four NBA seasons with Memphis, Cleveland, Phoenix and Sacramento before signing a two-year contract with the Mavericks in the summer of 2016. This looked like his breakthrough season; the rebuilding Mavs wanted to pair Curry in the backcourt with rookie Dennis Smith, Jr., from N.C. State.
The Mavs asked Curry to put off surgery, in hopes he would heal in time to play this season. But months of inactivity failed to promote sufficient healing. so Curry is going the surgery route.
“It’s very, very, frustrating,” Curry told the Observer in late December. “I knew I would have a big role coming into the season. I prepared myself all season for this season. It’s a huge setback, obviously, but I just have to attack my rehab.”
Having exhausted that option, Curry will now use surgery to reset his career. He will hit a tight free-agent market, with only a handful of NBA teams having significant room under the salary cap (although teams can always sign players through various cap exceptions).
Curry needs the sort of steady minutes he would have gotten this season with the Mavericks. Could his hometown team, the Charlotte Hornets, be a good fit in that regard?
Probably not, barring much change in the current roster. The Hornets used a top-10 pick in June on Kentucky’s Malik Monk, an undersized shooting guard who at 6-3 will have to play some point guard at the NBA level. That’s also somewhat the description of 6-2 Curry, who -- like his brother Stephen and father Dell -- built his game around superior 3-point shooting. The Hornets start Nic Batum at shooting guard and have Jeremy Lamb coming off the bench at that position.
Curry had a similar procedure while at Duke to insert a rod in his right leg, so he knows the rehab from this process. He feels he exhausted the option of hoping the stress reaction would heal through therapy and rest.
“I was tired of waiting,” Curry told the Dallas Morning News, “There was no way to know when it would heal.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell