Warriors Almost Traded Curry and Thompson

Published September 6, 2023 at 2:08 PM

At this point, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, known as the Splash Bros, are almost unanimously considered to be the greatest backcourt pairing in NBA history. If not the greatest, they are at least seen as the most impressive shooting backcourt due to their high percentage 3-point accuracy, which has transformed not only the Golden State Warriors' offense but the entire league.

The Golden State Warriors, with the core trio of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green, have reached the NBA Finals six times and won four championships over the last decade. One of the most remarkable aspects of this achievement is that all three players were drafted by the franchise and have only ever played for the Warriors. Given their loyalty to the Bay Area, it's difficult to imagine them in another team's jersey, although that possibility nearly became a reality for Curry and Thompson back in 2011.

According to the 2020 book "The Victory Machine," which documents the making of the Warriors dynasty, author Ethan Sherwood Strauss claims that then-GM Bob Myers had the guard pairing on the trading block as he was seeking to acquire potential superstars. One such trade that came close to happening was the alleged deal for Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans).

Paul was considered to be one of, if not the best point guard in the league during this time, and he was seeking a trade out of New Orleans after six seasons. The deal to send him to the Warriors was considered a done deal. However, the trade eventually fell through after Paul expressed his dissatisfaction with going to the Warriors and stated that he would not re-sign with the organization if they traded for him.

Had this trade gone ahead, it is unlikely that we would recognize the Warriors as the six-time champions we do today, and perhaps even the entire NBA landscape would have been different without the Warriors establishing the three-point culture we now see around the league.

In reality, the 2012 draft was when the Warriors drafted their third core member, Draymond Green, during the second round. But had the Splash Bros been in New Orleans at that time, it's possible they may have had a completely different running mate. After eventually trading Chris Paul to the Clippers, the Hornets obtained the first overall pick. While the roster would have been different with Steph and Klay, it's likely they would still have ended up with a high draft pick, as Thompson was only in his rookie season and Curry missed most of the year with injury.

With a third star from the 2012 draft, such as Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, or Bradley Beal, it's possible that we might have witnessed an even more devastating offense introduced to the NBA throughout the late 2010s and onwards.

Other Trade Scenarios

While the New Orleans trade might have been the most likely and interesting, the book elaborates on more trade scenarios involving Curry and Thompson around that time. However, they all eventually fell through due to the early injury concerns Curry had at the beginning of his career.

Some of these trades included Curry being swapped for Andrew Bogut in Milwaukee instead of Monta Ellis, as in the deal that actually happened. There was also a scenario involving David Lee and Klay Thompson being traded for Kevin Love to pair with Curry.

September 6   |   100 answers
Warriors Almost Traded Curry and Thompson

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