Report: Knicks Never Called T-Wolves About Trade Up for Steph Curry in '09 Draft

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 26, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 5: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to crowd during the game on March 5, 2020 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The New York Knicks were one pick away from selecting eventual two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry at No. 8 overall in the 2009 NBA draft, but the Golden State Warriors took the ex-Davidson superstar seventh.

The Knicks and team president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh reportedly coveted Curry, per Marc Berman of the New York Post, but apparently didn't attempt to jump the Warriors and land one of the Minnesota Timberwolves' picks at Nos. 5 and 6:

"However, one source familiar with the situation said Walsh never contacted Minnesota, which held picks No. 5 and 6. Another league source says when Golden State selected Curry, a 'huge collective groan' emerged from the war room. That indicated the Knicks were calling Golden State's bluff."

Per Berman, Walsh previously had claimed that he tried to trade up in that draft, although it's unclear with whom. 

"I really wanted Stephen in that draft, and when I realized that Golden State was going to take him, I tried to trade up to take him," Walsh said. "But I could not get the pick I needed so I looked elsewhere and tried to fill a need. Stephen was the guy and he obviously would have made a huge difference."

The Knicks took Arizona big man Jordan Hill, who played 24 games before being traded to the Houston Rockets in a move that enabled them to free up salary-cap space for the free-agency class of 2010.

Curry is still with the Warriors. He's won three NBA titles and five Western Conference championships for Golden State.

But if Curry and his father, ex-NBA player Dell Curry, had their way, then the 2008 NCAA tournament star would have been a Knick and played under then-head coach Mike D'Antoni.

"In the pre-draft process, Curry and his father made it known publicly he wanted the Knicks," Berman wrote. "Curry preferred to play for speedball master Mike D'Antoni, saying 'This is the system to be in.'"

Then-Golden State general manager Larry Riley took Curry anyway. Six years later, a dynasty was born with the Warriors' first NBA title in 40 years.

The Knicks have won just one playoff series in the past 20 seasons.