Coming to the league, Gilbert Arenas wasn't expected to become the star that he became in his short yet happening career. In the 2001 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors placed their trust in him as they selected him with their 31st overall pick.
After being drafted into the league, Arenas averaged 10.9 points per game in his rookie season. For a second-round pick, it was decent enough stats. However, his career really started to take off during the second season of his career. That season, his career really started to take off.
He upped his production to 18.3 points per game, which was more than enough for him to bag the 2002-03 Most Improved Player award. Evidently, Arenas expected an increased paycheck as well following his amazing year. Agent Zero wanted a contract worth $24 million for seven seasons.
But the Warriors didn't believe that Arenas deserved this contract. The former NBA player revealed details about how his conversation went with the franchise in an interview with VladTV. He revealed that the Warriors laughed at him for his "absurd" demand.
"In the middle of my rookie year, I'm learning how to be a pro, and then that summer I'm working with Chris Mullin. So Chris Mullin is teaching me the half-court game, how to be a pro, like the do's and the don'ts of just life... So that summer I stayed in Oakland and I just trained my a** off because my position wasn't safe. I'm a second-round pick, I'm not the future for you guys... I remember Golden State dropped the ball on this. After my rookie season, we went to them and I tried to get a seven-year deal for $24 million and it is basically like yeah! Laughed! So seven-year $24 million they were like Nah."
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Well, Arenas didn't get his wish as the Warriors didn't believe in his talent at the time. In a way, it worked out well for him as he signed a $60 million contract for six years with the Washington Wizards. By the way, Arenas' reaction on signing that $60 million contract is quite amazing.
After signing that deal with the Wizards, Arenas broke out and had a short yet great prime. Unfortunately, due to injuries, his career was ruined.
As for the Warriors, if they had signed Arenas to a huge deal, they probably wouldn't have landed Stephen Curry later on. That decision turned out to be worth three NBA Championships for the franchise, albeit at the cost of losing Arenas.