Once upon a time, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry were primed to be teammates.
In 2012, the Golden State Warriors were very intrigued by defensive stalwart Andrew Bogut. Fresh off averaging 11.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 2.0 BPG in the season prior, the Warriors felt they needed an inside presence to help their defense. The best trade asset they had was Stephen Curry at the time.
In what turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise in Golden State Warriors history, the Bucks passed on this deal. In what would have been the makings of possibly the best duo in sports, here is the breakdown of the trade that never happened.
Milwaukee Bucks and Stephen Curry
The Bucks front office potentially saw a budding star in Curry, but he had struggled with his ankle. In fact, Curry's injury struggles were well documented. Many teams across the league doubted Curry's ability to stay healthy and that is the reason he was written off so much, beyond being a rather slim framed guard.
The Bucks were willing to move on from Andrew Bogut, who was a few years removed from his All-Star caliber play and suffered some gruesome injuries. Ultimately, the Bucks front office doubted Curry's ankle and passed on this game-changing deal. Luckily for the Warriors, this fell through. Curry has since destroyed the notion that he will fail to stay healthy and has developed into the games' greatest shooter. Curry has won three NBA titles and two straight regular-season MVPs, ultimately being one of the games greatest players in the point guard position.
What would have happened if the trade went through?
If the trade went through, and the Bucks decided to take a risk on Curry's health, they would have added a premier guard to their lineup en route to possibly teaming him up with Giannis Antetokounmpo. A tandem of Giannis and Curry would have still stood today as arguably the game's best duo.
Giannis is a supreme athlete, defender, and playmaker which gives Curry the free reign to spot up for threes and run the break while Giannis handles the ball. Curry and Giannis on the break would be the most feared offensive force in the game today, especially with the leagues' direction on minimizing defensive resistance.
To compare with today's duos, probably only LeBron James and Anthony Davis would stack up in terms of overall offensive production and efficiency. Harden and Westbrook do not shoot a very high percentage, while George and Leonard are often dealing with some sort of injuries.
Overall, Curry and Giannis have the potential to completely run teams out the building with shooting and paint presence. Giannis is already unguardable on the fast break, and when he attacks the rim. Adding Curry as his teammate would force the defense to either let Curry shoot three's or guard Giannis with only one defender. Ultimately, opposing defenses will be forced to accept two points or three.
Since Curry is completely automatic from range, Giannis would probably benefit the most from the duo. Defenses will be wary of Curry's shooting which relieves pressure on Giannis, and if they do double, Curry will be right there for threes. Instead, Giannis hopes to lead the Bucks to an NBA title someday while Curry looks to finally win his Finals MVP and win his fourth NBA ring as the franchise player with the Warriors.