"What if's" of sports history

King Kamala

Integral Poster
How good do you think the Minnesota Timberwolves would have been if they had drafted Steph Curry in '09? Do you think him and Ricky Rubio would have been able to coexist? Is it possible they would become championship contenders by the mid 2010s?
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster

What if Knicks franchise weren't such incompetent boobs (huge stretch of imagination, I know) and they actually managed to sign LeBron in the Summer of 2010?

IIRC Knicks had room for a couple of max spots so they probably still sign Amare. I wonder where Bosh goes and where Melo goes. I'm guessing maybe Nets? Eastern Conference becomes a lot more interesting/competitive in the early 2010s IMO. Maybe Old Dawg Celtics are able to pull off one last run in 2012.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
How good do you think the Minnesota Timberwolves would have been if they had drafted Steph Curry in '09? Do you think him and Ricky Rubio would have been able to coexist? Is it possible they would become championship contenders by the mid 2010s?

I don’t think Wolves would’ve been contenders. They’d still need a lot of pieces and leadership. People treated Rubio like a star but to me he’s cemented as the Andre Miller of this generation. He’s solid, he will get you a double double but he isn’t going to be a major difference maker. So you’d have them getting in each other’s way, maybe a motivated Kevin Love, then what?

I liked Curry in college and viewed him as a guy who maybe gets an All-Star appearance or two. Bringing in Kerr and that system was huge, plus they’ve had the right talents to cater to his play. As much as I love Steph and know he’s a sure fire Hall of Famer, in all those championships and appearances, he never really had a defining Finals appearance. No way his rep is anywhere closer to the same unless Minnesota falls into someone like Kerr and similar prices in later drafts and acquisitions. But that’s asking for way too much star alignment.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Yeah, I don't think Rubio/Curry/Love is a good enough core to be a finals contender. Perennial playoff team maybe but also got to remember David Kahn was GM during this era so I'm sure he would have surrounded them with garbage.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
Yeah, I don't think Rubio/Curry/Love is a good enough core to be a finals contender. Perennial playoff team maybe but also got to remember David Kahn was GM during this era so I'm sure he would have surrounded them with garbage.

Kevin Love plus 11 point guards.

Only way to solve is have Love play Point Forward.
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Yeah, I don't think Rubio/Curry/Love is a good enough core to be a finals contender. Perennial playoff team maybe but also got to remember David Kahn was GM during this era so I'm sure he would have surrounded them with garbage.

Agreed. At best I could see them being like the 2012 & 2013 Golden State Warriors, winning 49-53 games a year but not really going into deep playoff runs. What really helped Curry was that he had Klay as a second scorer alongside Iguadola (could handle the perimeter defensively) and Draymond Green (perfect do anything role player) who were both fantastic defensively.

Minnesota had BIG AL in 2009 but moved on the next year and then Kevin Love started coming into his own. I think at best Steph would have been in the Damian Lillard mold of a good scorer on a mediocre team that could challenge for the playoffs in the right given year but not make a hard playoff push year in/year out.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Reading this article. Am I crazy or would the Ex Lakers make a pretty good team hypothetically? Not like championship contenders but perennial 45 to 50 wins type team.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Like The Knicks would be psyched to have all of the guys the Lakers threw away the last 5 or 6 years (and them overpaying Julius Randle kind of proves that)
 

HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
Here are some interesting ones out of boredom...
#3: What if June Jones doesn't get fired after the 3-13 season in 1996? How would that impact Hawaii's future fate? Would the Run & Shoot have carried over at the NFL level into the early 2000s with Gilbride also being San Diego's HC in 1997? Does the "slot" WR become more of a staple earlier than 2007 after the explosion of Welker with the Patriots?

I'm gonna answer this one mostly because it just fascinates me. I do think Atlanta makes some noise by 2000 under June Jones with their offense. They draft a QB high in the 1997 NFL Draft and have a good nucleus with RB Jamal Anderson, WR Bert Emanuel, and WR Terance Mathis. Eric Metcalf moves on to San Diego after Kevin Gilbride gets hired there. Atlanta signs a free agent WR, maybe getting Haywood Jeffires to stick it out for 2 more seasons, and lands another through the '97 NFL Draft.

Atlanta probably drafts Jake Plummer high in the 1st Round instead of Plummer falling to Arizona in the 2nd Round. They likely take Dedric Ward in Round 2 (instead of the Jets getting him in Round 3) and take another RB late such as Nicky Sualua.

A few more teams experiment with Run & Shoot concepts but none take them on fully except for San Diego under Gilbride. I think June Jones lasts in Atlanta until around 2002 before he lands with the expansion Houston Texans. He makes a couple deep playoff runs but is mostly remembered as a guy who couldn't win the Super Bowl not unlike the early 90s Houston Oilers teams. Gilbride sticks with San Diego through 2001 but bounces around afterwards as an OC, maybe landing with June in Houston eventually. June eventually moves down to college in 2008 or 2009 with Gilbride taking over the Texans for 3-4 more seasons before he also gets fired.

The "slot" receiver becomes more of a trademark for teams by 2001-2002 with St. Louis' success on top of what Atlanta and the Colts' use of 3 WR sets. Passing numbers really take off in 2002/2003 instead of the late 2000s. NFL teams make more overtures to guys like Mike Leach from college to try and get an edge offensively in the NFL.

Hawaii ends up hiring Paul Johnson in 1999 as their HC where he revolutionizes the program with his Flexbone Offense. They become a solid mid-tier program capable of 9-10 wins in a given season but don't quite have the prestige they had under Jones.

The Run & Shoot as an offense ends up making a return at the college level at several FBS programs under guys who coached/played under June and Gilbride. It never quite hits the 80s heyday of Houston w/Klingler & Ware (or Hawaii in the mid 2000s) but it gets more respectability in the media as the Air Raid and other passing offenses get more focus.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Woj has a new podcast about Giannis' life leading up to him being drafted and they talk about how it was assumed he would fall to the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Wondered how different things would be if Giannis went to Atlanta, which was a really solid franchise in the mid 2010s instead of to rebuilding Milwaukee? It changes whole dynamic of Eastern Conference for the next decade probably. Who knows how Giannis develops differently if he starts his career on a playoff contender (remember the Hawks were the #1 seed in Eastern Conference in 2015 playoffs) instead of one of the worst teams in NBA at the time?

Also no way in hell that Milwaukee still has an NBA team if they passed up on the Greek Freak.
 
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