OAKLAND — The Warriors got the guy they wanted all along in Thursday's NBA draft, selecting Davidson guard Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick.
"We did have Steph on the board at seven probably a month or six weeks ago," Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. "Then he was rising. I was concerned at one point we might not get him. I thought he might go ahead of us. ... He's a guy we targeted."
The only question now is how long they keep him. Riley said he was operating as if Curry will be a Warrior this coming season. But the Warriors, according to multiple sources, are in trade talks for Phoenix Suns All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire. The Warriors would send the rights to their first-round pick, center Andris Biedrins, forward Brandan Wright and guard Marco Belinelli to Phoenix, with swingman Kelenna Azubuike a possible throw-in.
But, according to sources, the only holdups are a contract extension for Stoudemire and the Warriors' desire to keep Curry.
The trade still could work without Curry, who has no monetary value in a trade until he signs a contract. But according to the Arizona Republic, the trade was contingent upon Curry being available at No. 7. He was.
Riley, per team policy, declined to comment. But later in the evening, a team source confirmed the Warriors were trying to keep Curry. For his part, Curry said he wants to stay in Oakland.
"A lot of people ... thought I was going to be disappointed if I didn't go there (New York at No. 8)," Curry said via conference call after being selected. "But that's not the case at all. I just spoke with Larry Riley, and he didn't mention (me going to Phoenix). I don't know where I fit in. I hope I go to sleep a Warrior."
A team source said the Warriors are willing to pay to extend Stoudemire's contract, but it's uncertain if team president Robert Rowell would approve (or get owner Chris Cohan to approve) what Stoudemire would likely require.
Stoudemire is set to make $34 million over the next two seasons, but he has a player option on the second season. Riley said he would have a tough time making a trade for a big-name player without locking him up long term.
Assuming Stoudemire garners the maximum, the Warriors would be able to sign him to a three-year, $61.3 million extension. That would put the Warriors on the hook for just over $95 million over five years. If the Warriors aren't willing to pay that much, or if Stoudemire doesn't agree to an extension, the trade likely won't happen.
In any case, any deal likely wouldn't be officially consummated until July 8, after the new season begins and the annual one-week moratorium to start the fiscal year ends. Biedrins, at that point, will no longer be in the first year of his new contract, and the trade limitations on it will have expired.
If the trade doesn't happen, the Warriors still will walk away with their guy. Curry, who reportedly was coveted by the Knicks, said he never expected to fall past No. 7.
"Everything that we saw in this guy just showed us that he's a quality young man who's a good basketball player," Riley said, "a basketball player that fits into our system. We wanted to improve the passing on our basketball team."
Riley confirmed it came down to Curry and Arizona power forward Jordan Hill, who went No. 8 to the Knicks. Curry will back up starting point guard Monta Ellis and get some time at shooting guard. Riley said he expects Curry to contribute this coming season, though maybe not until December or January.
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