When the Milwaukee Bucks missed the chance to have Stephen Curry

Diving into the “what ifs” is mostly an exercise in futility. But every once in a while it’s worth going back to a hypothetical scenario and considering how things could have been different. The Milwaukee Bucks had a chance to get Stephen Curry in a trade in 2012, but they rejected the offer, and it’s fair to wonder how things might have been different had they pulled the trigger.

Injury issues

It’s not hard to see why the Bucks were interested in Curry. He was a promising young player with a lot of potential. And while he had yet to establish himself as the superstar we know today, there were already signs he could be a special player.

The Bucks’ biggest concern was Curry’s injuries. He had missed a lot of time in each of his first three seasons due to ankle issues, and it was feared he couldn’t stay healthy enough to be a long-term solution at point guard.

Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry says the team is discussing a trade with the Golden State Warriors involving Curry and big man Andrew Bogut, who the Bucks picked with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2005. However, the medical team were unconvinced that Curry’s ankles would hold up, and the Bucks ultimately decided to walk away from the deal.

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“That was the deal. But the Bucks medical staff didn’t think Steph’s ankle would hold. It killed the deal,” Lasry said.

The Bucks and Warriors ultimately settled on a trade that sent Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown to the Bucks in exchange for Bogut and Stephen Jackson.

The rest is history

This trade was a turning point for the Warriors. With Ellis no longer hogging the ball in the backcourt, Curry became a two-time MVP and became the face of the franchise. Plus, he’s changed the way the game is played, with his three-point shot opening up whole new possibilities for how teams can attack on offense. The Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals, their first championship in 40 years. They followed that up by winning another title in 2017 and 2018. They added another in 2022.

The Bucks, on the other hand, have done well. With Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lead, they won an NBA title in 2021.

But one can’t help but wonder how things might have been different had they pulled the trigger on that deal for Steph Curry in 2012. Could we have had a Curry-Giannis duo? A frightening sight to imagine.

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