The Warriors have until 9 p.m., on Wednesday to reach anagreement with Stephen Curry on a contract extension. In other words, possiblyin the third quarter of Golden States season-opener against the Suns inPhoenix.Conventional wisdom is that Curry like many of his classof 2009 peers wont be getting an extension. But these extensions tend tocome down to the final hours so nothing is certain.If Curry and the Warriors dont reach an agreement, hellbecome a restricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season. If thats thecase, the Warriors would have the right to match any other teams offer for himnext offseason.Late in the summer, Curry and his agent, Lance Young, andWarriors general manager Bob Myers agreed to table talks of an extension untilthe preseason games were complete October 23.Curry remained optimistic earlier this week.My agent, Bob and (owner) Joe (Lacob) have talked a lotover the last couple of days about the situation, Curry said. Im focused ongetting reps, getting ready for the season. Once my agent thinks theres anoffer or its ready to make a decision, hell bring it to me. But we haventgotten there yet. I dont know if it will be a deadline-driven thing, but wevestill got to wait.The reasoning behind waiting until the preseason games wereover was that those games would give both sides a chance to assess the statusof Currys right ankle. Curry missed 40 of 66 games last season because of arecurring ankle problems.Curry played four preseason games and then rolled his anklein his fifth game against Portland. Curry said he could have returned to thegame, but coach Mark Jackson told him no.Curry sat out the teams final two preseason games as aprecaution, according to Jackson.So, while Curry will start Wednesday night against the Suns,there dont seem to be any guarantees after that. And that uncertainty islikely why the Warriors are reluctant to give Curry a big-money, long-termcontract.As for Curry, if he puts together a full and productiveseason in 2012-13, he stands to earn a lot more money than if he would sign acontract right now.Denver point guard Ty Lawson signed a four-year, 48 millionextension on Tuesday. You might think Lawson is better than Curry or you mightthink hes worse, but Lawson is certainly comparable.And that might be a little too high a price for Curry, comingoff injury.James Harden is expected to sign a max contract in Houston,but only after he failed to reach an agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunderand was traded.But Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings and DeMarDeRozan arent expected to receive extensions, according to variousreports.Its a big deal, Curry said. Im fortunate to be in thisposition where were able to have these talks. Not a lot of draft guys from myclass are in this position. Its a privilege and something I dont take lightly to be able to secure a couple of more years here at Golden State woulddefinitely mean a lot.But obviously you saw with the Harden deal that a lot ofthings can come out of nowhere and you never really know whats going tohappen. That pretty much strengthened how much of a business it is and you haveto take care of yours. Well see what happens.
Having destroyed three highly regarded opponents in their toughest week of the season, the Warriors on Sunday face an altogether different kind of challenge.
This time, it’s simply waking up.
The Warriors will pursue their seventh consecutive win, facing the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 a.m Pacific., the earliest game of the season for the Warriors.
The last time the Warriors (37-6) played such an early game in the Eastern Time Zone was March 26, 1995, also in Orlando.
The Magic (18-27) will want to be on alert for Warriors star Stephen Curry, who torched Orlando for 51 points last Feb. 25, his last visit to Amway Center.
Warriors by 12.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kevin Durant vs. Aaron Gordon: It’s the most efficient high-producer on offense (Durant) vs. one of the top five athletes in the league (Gordon). Durant is taking apart all defenders, and Gordon isn’t known for his D. No, the South Bay native is most known for his ability to fly. Durant’s task will be to minimize lob attempts while keeping him off the offensive glass for easy put backs.
Warriors: F/C David West (L thumb fracture) is listed as out.
Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) is listed as questionable. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) are listed as out.
Warriors: 9-1. Magic: 3-7.
The Warriors have swept the Magic in each of the past three seasons, compiling a six-game win streak during which they’ve won by an average of 10.8 points per game.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
EARLY FOCUS: After such astonishing success in a grueling week, with three emotional games, the Warriors may be susceptible to a letdown against inferior competition. Will they be able to summon the intensity from the start?
THE BIG MEN: Zaza Pachulia will have his hands full with Nikola Vucevic, the USC product who is one of the league’s more skilled scorers in the paint. Vucevic is not much of a defender, though, so Pachulia may find a few opportunities via the back cut or the pick-and-roll.
INSIDE D: If ever there were an offensive team begging to be defended by a zone, it is the Magic, who are 25th in field-goal percentage and, even worse, 28th in 3-point shooting percentage. The Warriors should be in good shape if they limit penetration.
Late in the first half of Wednesday night's game against the Thunder, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia made hard contact with Russell Westbrook, sending the Oklahoma City star sprawling to the ground.
The referees reviewed the play and gave Pachulia a flagrant foul.
Replays show Pachulia appearing to stand over Westbrook and none of his Thunder teammates coming to his defense.
Raja Bell, a 12-year NBA veteran who was briefly a Warrior during the 2009-10 season, was not happy with the reaction of the Thunder players.
"You are supposed to come flying across the court. You don't have to punch him, because that's a lot of money. But he should catch a forearm across his shoulder, a shove in the back, you ain't gonna knock down Russell Westbrook, the everything to the team I'm playing on, who feeds me, who makes me better, you ain't gonna do that and just stand over him and ice grill him. Not a chance," Bell said on Thursday during the NBA Crossover show on CBS Sports.
The incident started a war of words between Westbrook a Pachulia following the game.
"I don't know. He hit me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said when asked about what happened on the play.
He was then asked if he noticed Pachulia standing over him.
"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.
Pachulia responded to Westbrook's comments moments later.
"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments.
"That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.