What the Seth Curry injury means for the Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) and guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) and guard Wesley Matthews (23) watch their team take on the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Center. Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Seth Curry is injured, and if it’s serious, it’s like the third or fourth worst thing that could happen to the Mavs this year. Because, this team isn’t relevant, and they only have one player who clearly could be relevant, for them, in the near future: Recently-drafted rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. Whether he will have friends or not, in that uncertain future, is the only thing, besides Dirk’s farewell tour (may it last four years, Dirk), that matters.

And a lot depends on that, really. If Harrison Barnes is a piece for the future, and he’s at least young enough, the Mavs will have to be in a position where it makes sense to hold on to him at the end of this contract. If Nerlens Noel is, which of course they’ve jeopardized significantly by fumbling it all over the summer, then they’ll want to know it makes sense to invest in him at the end of the year.

Seth Curry, who is a free agent this offseason, really, really matters in that equation. If he’s good, the Mavs might well feel like they want to hang on to their young core at the end of the season, including Curry and Noel. If he doesn’t seem worth investing in, in a big way, they may well feel that Smith is the only guy to worry about keeping, and they won’t have to worry about that for some time.

Now, with a stress fracture that is bound to be unpredictable -- they’ve labeled him “week to week” -- the chances of the Mavs getting a good, hard look at who Seth Curry is just went down.

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Now, you might say it’s an opportunity to see whether Yogi Ferrell deserves a better contract too, and there’s some truth to that. But don’t kid yourself. Sometimes, I think people are so attached to finding talent where there wasn’t supposed to be any that their eyes get a little too big – I don’t doubt that Yogi is capable of playing J.J. Barea’s role off the bench. But, in terms of room for growth, with Seth’s pedigree – in every sense of the word – they’re not in the same league when it comes to potential, and probably not even close.

If you have a good team, it’s reasonable to want Yogi on it, and I expect he’ll be a good role player. But, if you’re trying to build a good team, there are frankly a lot of Yogis out there.

So, here’s hoping Seth heals up fast, and doesn’t struggle with this throughout the season. It would be great to see what he can do, and there’s a lot to like about his shooting ability. But it’s not good news, and it’s the kind of thing that can linger, so hope is what we have right now.