In 2009, the Minnesota Timberwolves had picks No. 5 and No. 6 but eventually ended up with two point guards– Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn– and passed up on Davidson product Steph Curry. Curry was picked 7th by the Warriors and won two MVP’s and as many championships. On the other hand, Rubio, while very serviceable, has his name constantly on trade rumors while Flynn is out of the league.
Then-Minnesota GM David Kahn received so much flak for the decision, but his recent article written in Sports Illustrated sheds light on the story behind the curtains.
And, in a much lesser known incident, it happened to me. In 2009, just days after my May 22 hiring as President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the agent for Steph Curry told me that Steph’s father, Dell, did not want his son to be drafted by Minnesota—“No offense,” as I recall Jeff Austin, his agent saying to me at the Chicago draft combine.
Kahn compared this situation to that of LaVar Ball, who has worked hard to steer his son, Lonzo Ball, to the Los Angeles Lakers. He has not worked out for any other teams during the predraft process.
While Curry’s move clearly paid off, it remains to be seen if Ball will be as fortunate. Or if the Lakers will actually pick him at all.