What if we told you that in 2011, the Warriors nearly shipped Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul?
The following is an excerpt from Ethan Strauss' new book "The Victory Machine."
It was far from the only time Curry was shopped, but in this instance, the deal was very close to completion. (Bob) Myers made the offer and Hornets GM Dell Demps was receptive. The catch was Chris Paul, who wanted out of New Orleans but had no intention of playing for the woebegone Warriors.
Paul told the Warriors they could do this trade, but he wouldn’t be staying when his contract was up at season’s end. With that, the Hornets lost out on the greatest backcourt of all time.
Your mind is blown, right?
New Orleans ended up trading CP3 to the LA Clippers in mid-December after a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers was vetoed by the late NBA Commissioner David Stern.
As for the Warriors, you have to remember that Curry was dealing with ankle issues and nobody thought he was going to revolutionize the game of basketball and/or become the first unanimous NBA MVP in league history.
And with Klay, Golden State selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in June 2011, so he hadn't even appeared in an NBA game yet when these trade talks occurred (the 2011-12 season didn't start until late December because of the lockout).
Lastly, this is the perfect time to remind you that the Dubs also discussed a Curry trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in early 2012 when Larry Riley was the franchise's general manager (Myers was the assistant GM and took over for Riley in April 2012).
In the end, Golden State traded Monta Ellis to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut. And as Riley explained on SiriusXM NBA Radio in June 2017:
"The only way to get the trade started was to let them start talking about Steph Curry. That's like going fishing, you throw some bait out there. A couple of things happened with that. I wanted to switch the deal over to Monta all along. But in order to get a conversation going, we had to do that ... that was also the year Steph was having some ankle problems, and this is just me speaking, you'll have to talk to [then-Bucks GM] John Hammond, but they became concerned about Steph's future in regards to ankle problems that he was having.
So in order to get the deal, we have to put Ekpe Udoh in it. And Ekpe looked like a player that could become a solid NBA backup. In all honestly, we had Ekpe for a year and half and I felt 'Hey, I made a mistake with this one. This guy is not going to make it.' So we had an opporunity to correct a mistake and put him with Monta and get the center back we wanted.
"So there's some credibility to the way that conversation actually started. But at the end of the day, I would have been kicking and screaming and tied down and everything else before I would have let Steph Curry go."
Now take a deep breath and rest assured that Steph and Klay aren't going anywhere.
The Splash Brothers will not be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for CP3 this offseason.