This might have surpassed the Nets’ trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as the worst deal in NBA history. If it had been consummated, that is.
The Golden State Warriors considered dealing Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to the New Orleans Hornets in 2011 for Chris Paul, before the All-Star guard instead was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss details the potential blockbuster in his new book “The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty.”
“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,” Strauss writes in the book. “[Warriors GM 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.”
Strauss continues by writing that Paul, a pending free agent, informed the Warriors that he wouldn’t sign a contract extension beyond playing for the 2011-12 season with Golden State.
“The Hornets weren’t the only organization to narrowly lose out on the deal of a lifetime,” Strauss wrote. “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.’ There were many, many people they tried to get and failed.”
By the time of those discussions, Curry had averaged 18.0 points and 5.9 assists per game over his first two NBA seasons after the Warriors had drafted him out of Davidson with the seventh overall pick in 2009.
Thompson hadn’t yet played a game for Golden State after he was taken with the 11th overall selection in 2011.
The duo helped lead the Warriors under coach Steve Kerr to five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals from 2015-19, including a record 73 wins in 2015-16 and three NBA titles, with Kevin Durant joining them for the latter three seasons of that run.
According to the book, the Warriors also nearly traded for Garnett, then with the Minnesota Timberwolves, in 2007 before he landed with the Boston Celtics.