Let's face it. Just like July 2010 hovers over the players not guaranteed for next year, Curry's looming presence is an added distraction to a team that is trying to play with blinders on in its attempt to make the playoffs.
When Curry, who has played a total of 62 minutes in 7 games (the Knicks are 3-4), enters the game the ball movement stops. It seems the players understand that the organization is trying to show the league that Curry can still play, but in terms of successful basketball Curry doesn't help all that much if he isn't getting strong post position. In his last game against the Bulls, Curry took the Knicks completely out of their rhythm and the Knicks went on to lose the game. That is not to place all the blame on the big man for them settling for over 40 three pointers, it's to say that whatever rhythm they had in the first half vanished.
There has been talk of a buyout with Curry for next year, which would be ideal as it would create more cap space for the summer. But Curry must have an opt-out in his contract and remember who did the deal. Isiah Thomas never seemed as if he was real strong in negotiations, but we will have to see if, in fact, the last year of his deal can be tweaked. In fairness, Curry's financial woes have been very public and to think that he's just going to do the Knicks a favor and walk away from $5.5 million dollars guaranteed is a long shot. If he gets "cut loose" and wants to continue his career elsewhere, he'll most likely sign with a team for the league minimum ($1.2 million) prorated, with essentially a tryout for the rest of the year.
In essence, as fans, the hopes of ridding Curry's contract rests on the confidence that Curry can make money and produce for another team.
Curry does deserve some praise for getting himself back in great basketball shape. He's done it for his career and for his overall health. But from day 1 it was obvious that he'd be a square peg in this system, even one that has been changed to suit the need of the players on the roster. When you are used to pick and rolls and driving and kicking, it's a major shift to turn into a dump-down post team, which is what they become when Curry enters the game. The result can be force feeding, and a lack of ball movement leading to open shots.
And from what I'm hearing, the players know it too.