When David Stern announced that the Golden State Warriors selected Stephen Curry with the highly risky seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Bay Area fans were baffled by the decision—especially after rumors that Don Nelson informed Jordan Hill that they would never pass on him if he's available at the seventh slot.
But you never get anything guaranteed with the new camouflage GM of the Warriors.
Curry, a physical clone of Monta Ellis, was not selected to accommodate the Warriors' needs, but the Phoenix Suns'. Arguably the best shooting player in the 2009 NBA Draft was solely chosen by the dysfunctional franchise in order to entice Suns GM Steve Kerr into giving away Amar'e Stoudemire.
If anything, Stoudemire's Twitter post should indicate the nature of this rumored trade. Stoudemire, having fun on his Twitter page wrote, "Breaking News! Amar'e Stoudemire to the Lakers!!"
On his blog, San Jose Mercury columnist Tim Kawakami wrote, "Don Nelson vs. Steve Kerr, with poor Riley (Larry) and Curry (Stephen) stuck in the middle in public. Not their fault, not the fault of the Warriors PR (Public Relations) staff. We’ll see which front office is Phil Hellmuth and which one is dead money."
And that's exactly it. It's a mark of disoriented franchise—make everything as complicated as possible for the franchise, the fans, and ultimately for yourself in order to charm interest around the league.
Just yesterday, Comcast Sports Central aired comments of Nelson definitively claiming that Curry was not drafted in order to get traded. "He can unpack his bags and relax,” Nelson said. "He can buy a house. We drafted him because we think he’s a terrific player that fits right into our program. He ain’t going any place."
And Nelson claims he's not involved in any front office decisions? If anything, Nelson sounds like he's the GM of the franchise, based on his powerful comments about Curry.
The speculation around Curry in the past few days all stem around the uncertainty of this franchise. How will Curry fit in with Ellis in the backcourt, if he's to stay in the long term? How would Stoudemire's attitude and health affect the future of the organization if he was to land in the Bay Area anywhere this July?
How about the one word that Nellie despises to hear: defending?
Similar to Ellis, Curry is both slim and has trouble defending opposing players. Yes, he's a much improved passer, facilitator, and point guard than Ellis presents himself right now. However, how will Curry ever make the Warriors a playoff contender in the future? Can Ellis and Curry guard a backcourt composed of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili?
Curry is just another shooter with good passing abilities that looks more like a shooting guard than a point guard. Ultimately, how is he an upgrade?
The same case scenario applies to Stoudemire. He's the perfect big man Nelson has been longing for since his glorious days in Dallas with the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki. The Suns' forward, though, should be a concern regarding his health and attitude.
Stoudemire has been known to display dismay towards his coach and the proposed playing style—one of the reasons behind Terry Porter's early departure from the desert last season. Stoudemire has also been known to call-out teammates in the past.
Nelson always wanted his shooting big man, which Stoudemire brings to the organization. However, he does not add the necessary rebounding and defending this team desperately demands. And his defending, in particular, will not improve after he lands in Oakland and plays under the infamous style of "Nellie Ball".
The explosive forward has also had microfracture surgery on his knees along with suffering a detached retina last season in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 19.
In addition, Stoudemire landing in the Bay Area in exchange for Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, and Stephen Curry should be a steal for any NBA team—especially the Suns, who are in total rebuilding mode.
Kawakami makes an interesting theory by writing that if Kerr strongly believed Stoudemire is the piece to build around a franchise, why would he be giving him up and involving him in trade talks? According to Kawakami, his health and attitude are significant factors.
By any means, Nelson and Riley merely thinking about making a trade of this caliber illustrates that they desire to make a change to the franchise. According to various reports, the Warriors would have only accepted this trade if Stoudemire extended his contract—which stands as a smart move due to Stoudemire's player option in the 2010 summer sweepstakes. But how will Stoudemire help this team in the long run without necessary rebounding and defending?
Still, there remains a major question that needs to be addressed: Will Ellis put on a Warriors jersey next year?
It might have already been answered on June 25 when Nelson drafted Curry.