As Stephen Curry’s otherworldly play takes the Golden State Warriors to record-breaking heights, the rest of the NBA is left to wonder, “What if?”
The Minnesota Timberwolves certainly have asked that question, as they drafted not one but two point guards — Ricky Rubio at No. 5 and Jonny Flynn at No. 6 — ahead of Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The Warriors took Curry at No. 7, and the rest is history. But at the time, the Phoenix Suns had a very different idea of how history would unfold.
The Suns, who had the No. 14 pick in the 2009 draft, had negotiated a deal with the Warriors that would send All-Star center Amar’e Stoudemire to Golden State in exchange for its No. 7 pick and additional players.
After Minnesota took Rubio and Flynn, Phoenix was under the impression the Warriors would draft Curry — who had caught the eye of then-Suns general manager and Curry’s current coach, Steve Kerr — and send him to the Suns via trade.
In fact, the Suns even selected Earl Clark instead of point guard Jrue Holiday at No. 14, assuming they were going to land Curry.
But the Warriors backed out at the last second, opting to keep the future NBA MVP and creating a rather awkward scenario between the two clubs.
“We told Minnesota that Steph didn’t want to go there,” Curry’s father, former NBA player Dell Curry, told AZCentral.com. “We had no idea that (the Suns and Warriors) had agreed to a trade. Obviously, they couldn’t put that out. I remember Steve Kerr calling me (the following morning) and saying, ‘Don’t go to the press conference. We have a trade that they reneged on.’ I’m like, ‘That’s between you guys. We’re going wherever they tell us. We can’t not go.'”
Dell added that he and Stephen also “had reservations” about the Warriors at the time, but it’s safe to say things have worked out for the best.
Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Stewart/USA TODAY Sports Images
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