The Golden State Warriors have been the best franchise in the NBA over the last 10 years and it’s not even close.
This era of dominance may not have happened if the Dubs successfully pulled off what would have been a major trade.
“The Warriors attempted to trade Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for Chris Paul in 2011. It was far from the only time Curry was shopped, but in this instance, the deal was very close to completion. 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. The Hornets weren’t the only organization to narrowly lose out on the deal of a lifetime. According to one GM, “The Warriors were blind lucky that they were unsuccessful in trading Steph and Klay together for the stars they offered them together for,” he said. “There were many, many people they tried to get and failed.”
Paul was eventually moved in Dec. 2011 to the L.A. Clippers for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and 2012 first-round pick.
Looking back, can you imagine how different the NBA landscape would be today? Curry was 23 years old at the time and although he showed flashes, was slowed down by ankle problems early in his career. No one knew at the time that he would develop into one of the best to ever play in the NBA and had a huge hand in reinventing the game of basketball.
Thompson was drafted in 2011, but hadn’t suited for a game due to the NBA lockout extending into December.
The Warriors wouldn’t have become what they are today if Paul had agreed to re-sign in the Bay Area. He was the best point guard in the world at the time while Curry and Thompson were young pups trying to establish their NBA careers.
If the trade was completed, I would assume then Dubs GM Larry Miller doesn’t make the five player trade with the Milwaukee Bucks centered around Monta Ellis and Andrew Bogut.
Golden State’s 2011-12 team would have featured Paul, Ellis, David Lee, Richard Jefferson and Dorrell Wright. This squad is good enough to get the playoffs, but that is about it.
It’s crazy to think about how this non-trade played out for the Warriors. At the time, acquiring Paul would have been seen as a huge addition and most would have rated the Dubs as winners in the trade.
Now, less than nine years later, we can look back and say the Warriors were so fortunate Paul didn’t want to join the organization.
If this deal was completed in 2011, how would you have ranked the trade at the time for the Dubs?