Wolves Wednesday: Remember when Minnesota passed on Stephen Curry?


It was a dark and stormy evening, one Timberwolves fans will likely never forget.

Actually, it was probably a beautiful summer night June 25, 2009, but the second part is true.

Wolves fans will look back on the night with regret for as long as Golden State guard Stephen Curry is in the league.

That night was the 2009 NBA Draft, and Minnesota held the fifth and sixth overall picks, the latter of which was acquired when the Wolves traded former first-round pick Randy Foye to Washington.

There were a multitude of options at the fingertips of Minnesota with two picks that high. It was a guard-heavy draft, which was good for Minnesota looking at the previous year's backcourt.

The Wolves started Sebastian Telfair at the point 43 games, and veteran guard Kevin Ollie ran the show when Telfair didn't start.

At the two was Foye, starting 61 times, but with him gone, the backcourt appeared barren.

The stage was set.

Human highlight reel Blake Griffin went first in the draft, widely regarded as the top prospect that year. Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut center, went second to Memphis. James Harden, Arizona State swingman, went third to Oklahoma City, and the final pick before Minnesota made their first selection was Memphis ultra-athlete Tyreke Evans.

Griffin and Harden are all-stars and franchise cornerstones for the Clippers and Rockets respectively, while Evans has averaged at least 15 points per game in each of his first four seasons.

No worries, there were plenty of options left on the board.

The bunch was led by highly regarded European point guard Ricky Rubio, who played with, if not outplayed, some of the top point guards in the world at the 2008 Olympics.

How about Arizona power forward Jordan Hill, who was considered one of the best interior big men in the draft.

There was USC do-it-all guard/forward Demar Derozan, who had been highly thought of since high school, if not sooner.

Maybe Brandon Jennings, who was an absurdly talented combo guard, but didn't get into a top college program because his test scores were too low, instead going overseas the year before he was draft eligible.

Then there was Jonny Flynn, Syracuse point guard who led the Orange to a six-overtime win over UConn in the Big East tournament.

And finally, Curry, who tore the college basketball world to shreds at Davidson, leading the Wildcats to an elite eight in the 2008 NCAA tournament, and leading college basketball in scoring in 2008-09.

With the fifth pick, was this.

With Rubio, surely the point guard problem was solved. But David Kahn and Wolves management had heard the buzz that the entire basketball world had, that Rubio may stay in Spain for a few years to develop his game.

The ultimate mistake was pick six, another point guard.

The cheers came from the Madison Square Garden faithful cheering for the Syracuse alum. The Orange play their home games at MSG.

Flynn wouldn't hear many cheers on the court, lasting just four years in the NBA. He currently plays in China.

On the flip side, Curry has been as advertised and more since he came into the league.

He may be the best shooter in the league, and has averaged over 22 points per game the past two seasons.

Tonight, Minnesota will get an up close look on what they missed out on, while Wolves fans would have to travel halfway across the globe to see the man they took over him.

Thanks David.

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