Ex-Warriors GM explains how he used Curry in 2012 trade talks with Bucks


When the Warriors traded fan-favorite Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson in the middle of the 2011-12 season, they turned the team over to Steph Curry.

But in a recent interview, former Warriors GM Larry Riley was asked if Curry's name ever came up in trade talks with the Bucks prior to the deal.

"Absolutely. The only way to get the trade started was to let them start talking about Steph Curry. That's like going fishing, you throw some bait out there. A couple of things happened with that. I wanted to switch the deal over to Monta all along. But in order to get a conversation going, we had to do that," Riley said on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Thursday.

So why didn't the Warriors ultimately include Curry in the deal?

"Well that was also the year Steph was having some ankle problems, and this is just me speaking, you'll have to talk to [then-Bucks GM] John Hammond, but they became concerned about Steph's future in regards to ankle problems that he was having. So in order to get the deal, we have to put Ekpe Udoh in it. And Ekpe looked like a player that could become a solid NBA backup. In all honestly, we had Ekpe for a year and half and I felt 'Hey, I made a mistake with this one. This guy is not going to make it." So we had an opporunity to correct a mistake and put him with Monta and get the center back we wanted."

"So there's some credability to the way that conversation actually started. But at the end of the day, I would have been kicking and scream and tied down and everything else before I would have let Steph Curry go," Riley said.

In 2012-13, following the trade of Ellis, the Warriors began a run of five straight playoff appearances including two NBA titles in the last three years.

Ellis played the 2012-13 season with Milwaukee before signing with Dallas, where he would play two seasons. He spent the last two seasons playing for Indiana. On Friday, he was suspended by the NBA for violating terms of the NBA/NBPA's Anti-Drug Program.

Contact Us