The Golden State Warriors are the NBA Champions and would go on to win a record 73 games in 2014-15. One year before that, they nearly traded Stephen Curry because Steve Kerr wanted him on his Phoenix Suns.
The “Golden State Warriors almost traded Stephen Curry in 2009” is a story that involves Steve Kerr. Kerr wanted Stephen Curry on the Phoenix Suns, but the Warriors did not want to trade him. Read more in detail here: who does steph curry play for.
Steph Curry is regarded as one of the top basketball players in the current age. Since his arrival in the NBA in 2009, the Warriors point guard has progressively developed his game. Curry has evolved into one of the game’s most potent offensive powers, and he is currently the best three-point shooter in league history.
Curry’s path wasn’t easy when he first began, but it paid off for both him and the Warriors. Curry could retire today and join the Hall of Fame on the first vote with five visits to the NBA Finals, three championship rings, and two MVPs.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have reservations about Curry. They were so doubtful that they considered moving him to the Phoenix Suns for All-Star center Amar’e Stoudemire. It’s an intriguing narrative that may have impacted the careers of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant, among others. Here’s the deal that was supposed to happen but never did.
The Trade Specifications
The Phoenix Suns have acquired the rights to the No. 7 overall selection in 2009. (Steph Curry)
Amar’e Stoudemire and the rights to the No. 14 overall selection in 2019 are given to the Golden State Warriors (Earl Clark)
On draft night, the Warriors were one of the teams interested in picking Curry, but the Suns were as well. The Suns intended to arrange a deal with the Warriors to send Stoudemire and another player in exchange for the first-round selection. Stoudemire had just finished a season in which he averaged 21.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He has also just returned from his fourth All-Star participation with the squad in five seasons.
Curry, on the other hand, was coming off a fantastic collegiate season with Davidson, when he guided the team to an Elite 8 trip. Curry had a 28.6 point, 5.6 assist, and 2.5 steals per game average. After his junior year, he was elected a unanimous First-Team All-American and was the NCAA scoring leader. Curry, according to Kerr, may be the Suns’ future point guard.
The Timberwolves are to blame.
The Suns believed they had a contract in place, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The arrangement fell apart, though, when the Timberwolves chose two players ahead of Curry.
“In return for Amar’e Stoudemire, the Suns felt they had made a deal for Golden State’s No. 7 selection and players. Minnesota’s draft room erupted in applause after point guards Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn were selected with the Nos. 5 and 6 choices, respectively. As it turned out, after Curry was moved to that slot, Golden State canceled the trade.”
Former Suns GM and current Warriors head coach Phil Jackson wanted to bring Stephen Curry to Phoenix, and he claimed that a deal was close to being completed.
“We attempted to grab Steph Curry by trading up. We got a long way with the Warriors and said to ourselves, ‘We’re going to finish this.’ We’re going to negotiate a trade, and this will be the person that takes over for Steve Nash.’
“We had the tremendous luxury of seeing Steve Nash win two MVPs, become such a dominating player, and such an outstanding leader, and that was one of the reasons we adored Steph.” In Phoenix, the hero was the person whose jersey everyone wore; everyone’s kids wore all around town.
“Watching Steph in college, it wasn’t evident that he was going to be a star.” He needed to mature and improve. However, the skill level was visible. We believed we’d closed a deal that night, but it didn’t work out. Steph was eventually taken by the Warriors and kept.
“And I’m grateful for that, Pete. [laughs] I’m glad that occurred. If that deal had gone through, I definitely wouldn’t be doing a coaching podcast with you right now [laughing] Steph is a blessing from God.”
Curry just did not want to travel to Minnesota at the end of the day.
“We informed Minnesota that Steph didn’t want to go there,” said Dell Curry, Stephen’s father and a color analyst for the Hornets on television. “We were completely unaware that they had agreed to a transaction.” Obviously, they were unable to do so. I recall Steve Kerr (then-Suns general manager and now Curry’s Golden State coach) contacting me the next morning and telling me, ‘Don’t attend to the news conference.’ We had a deal with them, but they didn’t follow through.’ ‘That’s between you two,’ I say. We’re going wherever they say we should go. We have no choice but to depart.’
Kerr thought that when Steve Nash departed or retired, Curry would be able to take over as point guard. Kerr did admit, though, that completing a trade would have been difficult since he didn’t think Stoudemire would pass the physical.
If a trade were to occur, the Suns’ projected lineup would look like this.
Steve Nash (PG)
Steph Curry, Steph Curry, Steph Curry, Steph Curry, Steph Curry
Jason Richardson, SF
Grant Hill, PF
Channing Frye (C)
Nash has just had a season in which he started 74 games. Nash returned to All-Star form in 2009-2010, averaging 16.5 points and leading the league with 11.0 assists. Nash would very certainly have started at point guard, a position he maintained until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season. Curry would have been assigned to the shooting guard position and might have taken over if Nash had departed for the Lakers.
Given Curry’s penchant for shooting outside, having him as the second guard would have been ideal. With Jason Richardson and an older Grant Hill, the Suns may have used a small lineup. Channing Frye has previously played in the center position. While this small-ball Suns group would not have been able to defeat the Lakers in 2010, it had the potential to be a speedy attacking unit similar to the Warriors when Kerr took over.
Warriors’ Potential Lineup in the Event of a Trade
Monta Ellis (PG)
Steven Jackson (SG)
Reggie Williams (SF)
Corey Maggette, PF
Amar’e Stoudemire (C)
The Warriors would have completed their big three with a third piece. As a backcourt, Monta Ellis and Steven Jackson were a scoring juggernaut. In 2009-2010, Ellis averaged 25.5 points per game, while Jackson led the club with 20.7 points per game in 2008-2009. Stoudemire would have given the club a genuine big three, averaging 23.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. It may have been enough to keep the club in the game.
To make space, Reggie Williams would have had to play small forward and Corey Maggette would have been shifted to power forward. Don Nelson would have found a way to make this work even if the Warriors only won 29 games.
The Suns had a fantastic season in 2009-2010, going 54-28 and reaching the Conference Finals. The club would lose six games in a row against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and eventually disintegrate. Stoudemire signed a max deal with the New York Knicks. Nash was growing older, but at the age of 37, he’d make one more All-Star appearance. The club, on the other hand, would miss the playoffs for ten years until losing in the NBA Finals last year.
Earl Clark, who would play one full season with the Suns before being moved the following year, would be the recipient of the Suns’ draft selection. The Suns could have grabbed their future point guard by picking Jrue Holiday or Ty Lawson, but they chose a another path.
Curry’s development would take time for the Warriors, but he would put them on the map as one of the best teams ever. Curry earned MVP in 2015 and then became the first unanimous MVP in league history in 2016, when the Warriors set a league record by winning 73 games. From 2015 through 2019, the Warriors appeared in the NBA Finals every year. Curry finished third in MVP voting last season after leading the NBA in scoring. He surpassed Ray Allen as the best three-point shooter in NBA history this season.
Curry and Klay Thompson became the Splash Brothers, and the big three of Curry, Thompson, and Green established themselves as a legendary trio in their own right. Their performances influenced Kevin Durant’s decision to join the squad, and he went on to help the Warriors win two championships. If Curry is dealt, the Warriors will no longer be the Warriors.
Now we have the best record in the NBA, thanks to the Warriors. Fortunately, the Suns are right there with the Warriors at the top of the standings, despite a decade of misery. Golden State would have never been the same if this transaction had gone through, and Kerr would have likely never coached again. Curry’s development was aided by Kerr’s coaching to some extent, so who knows whether he would be the same Curry he is now if he had started his career with the Suns.
The Golden State Warriors attempted to trade Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for Chris Paul, but CP3 refused, saving the Warriors’ dynasty.
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