Since 2015, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo have won two MVP awards. Both won the Finals MVP, with Antetokounmpo winning in 2021 and Curry taking his first award in the past finals. The biggest difference between the two is that Curry has four championships, while Antetokounmpo has only one. With that, they are both Champion and Player of the Year nominees and would go on to be the best players in NBA history.
There was time When these two stars almost played together. If this happened, was their evolution the same? Their heritage is already intact, given that they are draft products that stayed with their draft team and brought a title to town. However, Curry was almost traded to the bucks. This could have been a Tim Duncan version, and Tony Parker is optimized to the max if Curry and Antetokounmpo were teammates.
What if this trade goes down?
Golden State Warriors Reception: Andrew Bogut
Milwaukee Bucks welcome: Stephen Curry, Ekbi Udo, Kwame Brown
The Warriors eventually traded for Bogot, who became a vital part of the 2015 championship team. Curry talked about the actual trade that went down On Draymond Green Podcast. Bogot and Stephen Jackson were acquired by Monta Ellis, Odoh and Brown. Carey said he remembers seeing the pop-up trade on TV.
“I’m being taped as I prepare to play the game, and you see across the tape on TV in the locker room like breaking news, NBA trade, Warriors trading Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and someone else Andrew Bogut, and that’s how we found out.”
Bogot was seen as a losing good when some commercial valuations were made. Bogot was reportedly asked to trade. At the time, Bogut was sidelined with an ankle injury, leaving the Warriors without their most consistent scorer in Ellis at the time. It was also a rough start to his Warriors career. Bogut played only 32 games during the 2012-13 season.
Bucks wanted Stephen Curry but had concerns
After the trade was completed, he learned that the Bucks wanted Curry. Curry was entering the 2012-13 season as his fourth in the league. The 2011-12 season saw him average 14.7 points, 5.3 assists, and shoot 45.5% from a three-point range. Curry said former coach Mark Jackson approached him and said the Bucks originally wanted him.
According to Carey, Jackson pulled him aside and said, “I just had to tell you [the Bucks] He wanted you to trade. Curry also confirmed that the team’s doctors were the reason he wasn’t dealt with. Doctors believed his ankle injuries were too great and that it was ‘not worth deliberating’.
“The doctor part, I can’t put a name to it, but I know that was part of the conversation because it all happened once for me,” said Carey. “I knew exactly where we were, we were in Sacramento. It was closing year so it was a good time to trade. We got to the arena and walked into the locker room. I was on the first bus, and Monta usually comes the second bus.”
At the time, Curry experienced his first major injury to his ankle. That year was one of the worst seasons of his career, outside of the 2019-20 season when he missed some time due to injuries as well. With that, Curry bounced back during his fourth season. It kicked off the All-Star streak and marked the beginning of his rise towards becoming the greatest shooter of all time.
Expected lineup of warriors if trade occurs
PG: Garrett Jack
Secretary General: Clay Thompson
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: David Lee
A: Andrew Bogut
Thompson was a novice who didn’t really develop until after a few years down the road. Season 2 of Thompson is where we started to see a real evolution. Thompson averaged 16.6 points and fired 40.1% of the three-point range in his second year. It was possible that he needed to take a bigger role offensively. If it hadn’t happened, he would have developed more defensively as the team’s primary wing defender because Jack wasn’t a consistent defensive player.
Barnes’ growth was also essential. Barnes was 20 years old at the time. The combination of Thompson and Barnes wasn’t machine gun bro stuff, but it would still have been a great duo. Lee and Bogut’s interior was probably solid defensively. Bogot was a defensive player when he was healthy, while Lee was more focused on scoring in the paint.
Expected dollar assortment if trade occurs
PG: Brandon Jennings
Secretary General: Stephen Curry
SF: Luke Mbah is done
PF: Ersan Eliasova
A: Larry Sanders
The Bucks already had a point of protection with Brandon Jennings, who was a pretty strong player at the time. He averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists during the 2012-13 season. Curry’s addition would have organized him into shooting guard missions. Back-area duo Carrie and Jennings may have the same effect as Jennings and Ellis. The season saw Ellis averaging 19.2 points and 6.0 assists, but the team finished the season 38-44.
The other pieces about Carrie won’t be significant contributors in the long run. Udoh averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds but averaged 17.3 minutes of playing time. As for Brown, he’s been around the league for a little while. Curry needed another star on the road to replicate his success with the Warriors. It would happen during the summer of 2013 when Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted by the team.
The trade worked very well for the warriors. Bogut helped the Warriors win a championship in 2015, as the team’s second overall pick in the center. With Bogot in the middle, the team was fortified defensively. Bogut will play in the NBA Finals with the Warriors in 2016 and 2019 as well, but he will come out with the one championship ring.
As for Ellis, he spent two and a half seasons with the Bucks. Ellis played 21 games in 2011-12 and appeared with 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. The 2012-13 season saw an average of 19.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.1 shots. Ellis eventually pulled out of free agency in 2013, joining the Mavericks on a three-year, $25 million contract. Had the Bucks made a deal with Curry, it would have been more likely he would have stayed with the team.
The question would be whether the bucks would pay Curry. After the 2012-13 season, Curry’s contract rose to the entry level (junior scale). Curry would agree to a four-year, $44 million contract extension with the Warriors in 2013. The Bucks would have likely paid Curry to extend the contract if they offered Bogot to him, so let’s just assume the Bucks closed Curry for four years.
By this time Antetokounmpo had entered the league as a rookie in 2013. His first two seasons in the league had been rather lackluster. By the 2015-16 season, he averaged 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.9 cuts. If Curry plays like the unanimous MVP this season, which he won in 2016, we can assume these two are driving the Bucks into the conversation for a deep playoff boost.
We can then assume that this partnership is working. We can’t forget that Khris Middleton joined this team the same year that Curry joined. Those big three will likely be good enough for Curry to quit the team in 2017. Then, you have two nominees for the best player on the same team. The Bucks won a championship without Curry, but we could be talking about the Bucks dynasty and not the Warriors who made it through.