The 2009 NBA Draft was full of a lot of potential with teams trying to get better and players hoping to make their dreams come true. With Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, and Ricky Rubio being the favorites of the draft, a few teams looked over the now-MVP that is Stephen Curry. At the time, Curry was labeled as a “terrific shooter” with “great range” but he lacked size and strength and many thought he would get killed on defense. Regardless, Steph still went high in the first round, being picked 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors, but come to find out, he had desires to go elsewhere.
Curry’s agent, Jeff Austin along with Curry’s dad, Dell tried their best to get their star in a New York Knicks jersey. The Knicks held the pick right after the Warriors at the 8th spot, but the former GM of the Warriors, Larry Riley, couldn’t pass him up.
New York ended up taking Jordan Hill in the draft, who has pretty much been bouncing around from team to team ever since, so in the grand scheme of things, it looks like they lost out. Stephen Curry has shut all the doubters up becoming one of the best shooters in the game and one of the most entertaining players in the league today. Even though Curry’s career with Golden State started early, their team gradually got better and now they’re league favorites to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
But what if Stephen Curry got drafted by the New York Knicks?
At the time, the New York Knicks were knee deep in the rebuilding stage, trading Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford just to free up cap space in the hopes to land a big free agent in the upcoming off season. The Knicks just weren’t good. Management was constantly shipping guys in and out to see what fit best and a lot of the players they kept were young and inexperienced. The team was led by David Lee, Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson in the fast pace offense of Mike D’Antoni — a style that could’ve benefited Curry.
I believe Steph Curry wouldn’t have had a huge impact right away, but over time, he could’ve made the team better, granted management made the right moves. The pick-and-roll, run and gun offense of Mike D’Antoni would have been perfect for Curry’s style of play. But the big question is, would they have been able to still get Carmelo Anthony? If so, then I believe they could have been a great team. I always felt the Knicks lacked a good point guard — Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni just weren’t getting the job done. A lot of pick and pops with Anthony and Curry would have been hard for any team to guard, just like what we see in Golden State with Draymond Green, but better—what’s not to like? The flashy and exciting style of play that Steph Curry possesses would have been loved by Knicks fans and there’s no doubt in my mind that New York would have been back at the top of basketball once again.
Alfonso’s View (@FonzyDeFalco)
At the time, Curry was very unknown coming out of Davidson, but you knew he had something special after a great performance in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The 2009 NBA Draft had a good group of point guards (at the time) with the likes of Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn and Brandon Jennings to name a few, but Curry had that special something as I stated earlier.
Curry ended up being drafted one pick before the Knicks by the Golden State Warriors. When he walked up on the stage and shook David Stern’s hand, you could hear Knicks fans booing at this young player who did not have the power to pick the team he wanted to be on. After Curry was selected with the 7th pick, the Knicks decided to select Jordan Hill from Arizona. It turned out to be a bust of a pick with Hill only averaging 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 24 games (no starts) before be was shipped midway through his rookie year to the Rockets.
So what is my view on today’s “What If” — if Curry was selected one pick later to the Knicks? Personally, as a fan, I think it would have definitely helped out the franchise since New York had been struggling in the 2000’s and were looking to find that one player to turn the team around. Curry could have brought New York to great heights and attract certain free agents and even coaches to join him. Players that the Knicks signed or drafted like Amar’e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. or even Carmelo Anthony would have loved to play with a guy like Curry who is a great passer and calm under pressure. Now, I do not like predicting winning titles on these types of “What Ifs”, but I know for certain the Knicks would have had a lot better playoff success and be in a better situation then they are now.