Were it not for a last-minute change of heart on Draft Night in 2008, the entire NBA would look drastically different right now. On that night, Steph Curry fell to the Golden State Warriors with the seventh pick after the Minnesota Timberwolves passed on him twice in a row. We all know how the story turned out from there: Curry emerged as a generational talent and the Warriors evolved into a historically great team. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way.
As Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports, the Phoenix Suns actually had a deal in place with the Warriors to swap picks so they could snag Curry, only for the Warriors to renege at the last minute.
“The Suns believed they had negotiated a deal for Golden State’s No. 7 pick and players in exchange for Amar’e Stoudemire. Their draft room exploded in cheers when Minnesota inexplicably went for point guards Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn with the Nos. 5 and 6 picks.
As it turned out, Golden State nixed the deal once Curry fell to that spot.
“We told Minnesota that Steph didn’t want to go there,” said Dell Curry, the ex-NBA standout who is Stephen’s father and a Hornets television color commentator. “We had no idea that they had agreed to a trade. Obviously, they couldn’t put that out. I remember (then-Suns general manager and now Curry’s Golden State coach) 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.’”
Think about the ramifications of this non-trade, just for a moment.
The NBA as we know it today would not exist. The Warriors would probably not be historically great, and Steph Curry may just be a very good player and not challenging for G.O.A.T. LeBron James might have delivered a title to Cleveland, if he even goes back to Cleveland, that is; who know how far these consequences reach. Maybe Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t go to the Knicks but instead stays with the Warriors, which actually wouldn’t change all that much for the Knicks; they’d still be awful. (Then again, maybe they wouldn’t have Kristaps Porzingis.) A wealth of coaches wouldn’t have been fired and/or hired. It’s an entire alternate timeline!
Unfortunately for the Suns, and every other team affected by the Warriors’ dominance, Golden State knew exactly what they had when they drafted Curry. Even though there was a deal in place, and it’s poor business to renege on a deal, there was no way they were going to give him up. If they had followed through, though, who knows what events would have followed.
(Via Arizona Republic)