Anthony Davis, not Steph Curry, to be NBA’s best in 2021, Tom Haberstroh says

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While LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler battle for the 2020 NBA title, Steph Curry has been letting his body heal and is getting ready for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Curry and the Warriors haven’t played an NBA game since March and don’t have a set date on when they will lace them up for their next contest.

Is Curry’s downtime enough to push him back into the mix for best player in the NBA next season? Not quite, according to NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh.

“It’s so hard to predict what the big layoff is going to do Stephen Curry’s game,” Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “I could totally see it giving him more motivation, have a refreshed body going into next year and take care of those bumps and bruises that you have going on these Finals runs.”

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Haberstroh is ruling a 36-year-old LeBron out of the conversation, but is putting his money on Davis to take the mantle of best player in the NBA soon.

“When you talk about going forward, you have to discount LeBron’s age,” Haberstroh said. “You have to simply because he’s got all these miles on his tires and at some point, he’s going to slow down.

“I don’t know when that’s going to be, but the probability states that the next player, from now until next season, I’m probably going to bet with Anthony Davis.”

Haberstroh still sees Curry, 32, being a highly effective player, but believes his shortcomings on defense will hurt in the conversation for best player in the NBA.

“Stephen Curry is my bet for the best offensive player of those three players,” Haberstroh said. “But two-way game, I’m probably going to go with Anthony Davis. He’s in the beginning of his prime. He still has, I think, another level to get to. Stephen Curry is on the other side of his prime and he’s not giving you as much defensively.

“If I’m going to choose one for the entire next season, I’m probably going to go with Anthony Davis, who quieted all the doubters in terms of his ability to win postseason games.”

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While Curry is a long way from his 2015-16 unanimous NBA MVP level, he should be rejuvenated by the long layoff. While his peers were adding extra miles to their body during the NBA restart in Orlando, Fla., Curry was getting much-needed rest after five straight NBA Finals runs from 2014-15 through the 2018-19 season.

Davis has taken a big step forward while playing alongside LeBron on the Lakers, but don’t put it past Curry to remind everyone exactly how good he is during the next NBA season.

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