RUMOR: Knicks’ Stephen Curry pursuit was groan-inducing
Stories about the New York Knicks’ relentless pursuit of Stephen Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft have been told aplenty. Former general manager Donnie Walsh still recalls making moves to see if he could land him with the eighth overall pick — though others in that front office don’t think Walsh played his cards right when shooting to get him on draft night.
“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 told Marc Berman of The New York Post. “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.”
A former Knicks scout set the record straight, noting Walsh was unprepared, never contacting the Minnesota Timberwolves, who held the fifth and sixth picks and would have likely relinquished one of them for the right offer.
Another source said that once the Golden State Warriors selected Curry with the seventh overall pick, a “huge collective groan” emerged from the Knicks’ war room, a noise indicating the Knicks calling their bluff.
“It didn’t seem Donnie was prepared for any other scenario,” a former Knicks scout said. “We all love Donnie, but he didn’t seem to have a backup plan and it was a mad scramble to finalize [No. 8 pick Jordan] Hill.”
Hill lasted only 24 games with the Knicks before he was traded to the Houston Rockets during his rookie year — a sign the Knicks weren’t really sold on him. He lasted a mere seven seasons in the league. By the time he played his last NBA game, Curry was already a two-time MVP and was shooting for his second championship in three years.