In order to win a championship in the NBA, you need to have some luck. Whether that is through the draft, player movement, injuries, or moves that didn’t happen, each title-winning team had some breaks along the way.
The Golden State Warriors got their share of good fortune leading up to their historic five-year run that saw the franchise capture three NBA championships. The Dubs had Stephen Curry fall down to them in the 2009 NBA Draft, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green fall past many teams to end up on the Warriors, and of course Kevin Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for the Bay Area.
But what about the rumored moves that never happened? NBC Bay Area’s Drew Shiller looked back at six nightmare scenarios Golden State avoided over the past 10 years, and had some interesting choices.
The first one Shiller listed is the reported trade the Warriors offered the New Orleans Pelicans in 2011 that would’ve sent Curry and Thompson to the Pels in exchange for point guard Chis Paul. Former GM Larry Riley denies ever making the offer, but nonetheless, we know how great this turned out for the Warriors.
2. The L.A. Clippers matching the Dubs’ offer sheet for DeAndre Jordan
Jordan was one of the best rim protectors for a few seasons, and a ferocious finisher around the rim. Although he would have bolstered the Warriors’ front court, who knows what the trickle-down effect would’ve been if the Clippers didn’t match the four-year $43 million deal.
3. The Monta Ellis-Andrew Bogut trade
As Shiller points out, Riley says the Milwaukee Bucks were initially trying to get Curry in exchange for Bogut. Riley recalls that he used Steph as bait in order to engage the Bucks into the trade discussions, and eventually pivoted to center Golden State’s offer around Ellis. Bogut became an important piece for the Dubs the following two seasons, highlighted by helping to bring home a championship in 2015
4. Missing out on Dwight Howard in 2013
Howard will still in his prime at the time, and the Warriors were apparently all in on the free agent big man. He ended up choosing the Houston Rockets, and the Dubs had to settle for getting future NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in a three-way trade with the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.
5. The potential Thompson for Kevin Love trade
It was rumored that the Dubs were considering shipping the sweet-shooting Thompson to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Ultimately, the Warriors’ brass said no thanks, and the rest is history.
6. Keeping Green
As Shiller points out, Dray and head coach Steve Kerr were involved in a verbal altercation during a late February game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. Green felt he might be traded due to his outburst, but Bob Myers says the team never even considered it.
I am excluding the Curry/Thompson for Paul trade, and not including Steph in the Bogut deal for obvious reasons, but which of the other four moves on Shiller’s list are you happiest that the Warriors didn’t make? Vote in the poll, and let us know how you voted in the comments below!
Which scenario would have been the worst for the Warriors?
This poll is closed
The Warriors sign DeAndre Jordan in 2011
The Warriors sign Dwight Howard in 2013, and miss out on Iggy deal
Trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love in 2014
Trading Draymond Green during the 2016 season
On to some links:
Thompson has apparently been lights out since returning to the court after rehabbing his knee injury. NBC Bay Area’s Shiller highlights how Klay has changed his physical appearance since last time we saw him.
Curry has only appeared in five NBA games since June of 2019. Warriors Wire’s Tommy Call looks at Steph’s workouts while he awaits his on-court return.
Why is former Denver Nuggets’ head coach George Karl still a little bitter towards Iguodala? Karl spoke about a specific incident involving then-Warriors’ bench boss Mark Jackson with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. (h/t NBC Bay Area)
Which teams participating in the Orlando bubble can be a major roadblock for the Dubs next season? Fansided’s Tony Pesta looks at three squads that could make the leap to the NBA’s upper echelon with a strong showing in Orlando.