OAKLAND – Stephen Curry just became the first Warrior with consecutive playoff games of at least 20 points and 10 assists since Tim Hardaway in 1991. The Suns just had another lottery season. David Kahn is out as director of basketball operations in Minnesota. And this isn’t exactly a good time for Geoff Petrie to be house hunting in Sacramento.
The Curry draft fallout from June 2009 are everywhere in April 2013. In Oakland and Denver, obviously, because the shooting star of a point guard has led the Warriors to a 2-1 lead over the Nuggets as the teams take today off before meeting back at Oracle Arena on Sunday night.
They have to be watching and wondering in Phoenix. The Suns and Warriors had serious discussions about a draft-night blockbuster headlined by free agent-in-waiting Amar’e Stoudemire to Golden State for the pick that would become Curry or, after the selection had been made, actually Curry. He was the clear target of personnel boss Steve Kerr.
Talks got interesting, but were never on the verge of being completed. The Warriors were not going to do the deal without a commitment by Stoudemire to re-sign a year later, and they did not so much as get to the stage of asking for permission to talk. Besides, he was not going to give anything close to that commitment, so the deal would have fallen apart anyway.
In the end, the Warriors kept Curry, the Suns took Earl Clark at No. 14 in that draft and kept Stoudemire for one more season before he left for the Knicks as a free agent.
Petrie and the Kings passed on Curry to draft Tyreke Evans fifth. It wasn’t a disastrous choice – Evans won Rookie of the Year and remains a starter – but Curry has lapped Evans for impact, and at the same position. The decision by Kahn and the Timberwolves, that was a disaster worthy of guys in yellow plastic outfits and masks.
With picks five and six, Minnesota went point guard-point guard. That was curious enough. But when one of the point guards was Jonny Flynn and his career went nowhere fast, while Curry and Brandon Jennings (10 to the Bucks) and Jrue Holiday (17th to the 76ers) developed, it became one of the Kahn undoings.
A lot of teams had Flynn in that No. 6 range, meaning it was no reach by Kahn. But when the Timberwolves passed on Curry twice, the Warriors were thrilled. They took Curry without serious consideration of anyone else on the board, kept Curry without getting to the brink of a decision on a Stoudemire deal, and then, nearly four years later, rode him to a series lead in the playoffs.