Prior to becoming considered one of the best high school basketball players in the nation as a senior at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Illinois, Curry aspired to be a gymnast and did not pick up basketball until the seventh grade when he reluctantly went out for the school team. In 2001, Curry led his team to second place in the IHSA State Playoffs. For his efforts, Curry was named 2001 Illinois Mr. Basketball. In his senior year of high school he posted averages of 22 points per game, 9 rebounds and 6 blocks. He was named to the 1998, 1999 and 2000 State Farm Holiday Classic all-tournament teams, and in 2003 was named by the fans to the tournament's All-Quarter Century Team.
Curry's contribution was limited during his rookie year due to limited minutes. Curry improved in his second year, leading the NBA in field goal percentage (58.5%) and becoming the first Bull to lead the league in a major statistical category since Michael Jordan in 1998. In the 2004–05 season the Bulls improved by 28 wins and made the playoffs as the 22-year-old Curry led the team in scoring before being hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat. This caused him to miss the last 13 games of the regular season and the entire playoffs. On June 24, 2005, heart specialists cleared Curry to resume practice.
On October 3, 2005, after refusing on privacy grounds to submit to a DNA test, as requested by Bulls management, to assess whether he has a congenital heart condition, Curry was traded to the New York Knicks. The trade included the Bulls' Antonio Davis, as well as the Knicks' Mike Sweetney, Tim Thomas, and Jermaine Jackson. First-round draft picks were also exchanged in the trade—which later came back to haunt the Knicks as they had a poor 2005–06 season in which Curry averaged 13.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game (numbers that were significantly down from the previous season). Curry's inability to defend and rebound was a source of frustration for former coaches Scott Skiles and Larry Brown. When asked by a reporter in 2003 what Curry needed to do to become a better rebounder, Skiles simply replied: "Jump." The 2006–07 season saw a resurgence in Curry's performance under new coach Isiah Thomas, with Curry anointed the team's primary offensive option, averaging career highs in points (19.6), rebounds (7.1), and minutes (34.9) per game. On April 7, 2007 Curry scored a career-best 43 points in an overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks; his first three-pointer of the season forcing the game into the extra period. Curry is 2 for 2 (100%) from three-point range in his NBA career. In the 2007–2008 season, Curry was expected to form a great frontcourt with Zach Randolph, however both of them saw a regression in their games. Curry showed up to training camp in October 2008 out of shape for the second year in a row, incensing new head coach Mike D'Antoni. Curry not only lost his job, but was not even in D'Antoni's rotation at the beginning of the 2008–2009 season. Curry was also bothered by a sore right knee for much of the season. Curry played his first game of the season on January 8, 2009 against the Dallas Mavericks and played in two other games later in the season. During the 2009 off-season Curry began working with a trainer on a fitness and weight-loss regimen. As of mid-July he had lost 30 pounds, but according to the trainer it would be "delusional" for coaches to think he could get down to his listed weight of 285 pounds.
On February 22, 2011, Curry was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-way blockbuster deal which also involved Denver Nuggets that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York. On March 1, 2011, his contract was bought out by the Timberwolves before he played a single game for them, making him a free agent.