OAKLAND — The question was inevitable.
Before Friday's news conference introducing rookie Stephen Curry, word had circulated that the Warriors' trade talks with the Phoenix Suns regarding All-Star power forward Amare Stoudemire were being held up by Curry.
The issue? The Warriors wanted to keep him, and the Suns insisted he be part of the deal — leaving the status of the seventh pick in Thursday's NBA draft up in the air.
But when asked whether the Warriors would let Curry get away, coach Don Nelson had an answer ready. And it was definitive.
"No," Nelson said. "I should be clear about that. He wasn't drafted for somebody else. He is not going to be traded. He was drafted because we think he is going to be a terrific player, and he's going to be right here. So he can unpack his bags, he can relax, go buy a house because he ain't goin' anyplace."
The Warriors' refusal to include Curry in the trade likely has killed the chance to get Stoudemire from the Suns. The Warriors are willing to give up center Andris Biedrins, forward Brandan Wright, guard Marco Belinelli and maybe even swingman Kelenna Azubuike. But not Curry.
Curry was a major part of what the Suns wanted. Reports out of Phoenix are that Suns celebrated in the war room when Curry fell to the Warriors.
The initial talk was that no Curry meant no deal for Phoenix. But the Arizona Republic is reporting that Phoenix is still willing to talk to the Warriors and other teams about Stoudemire, though the Warriors' chances decrease significantly without Curry in the mix.
The Warriors are content with not getting Stoudemire, according to two team sources, if getting him would mean losing Curry.
General manager Larry Riley said during the news conference that, per the Warriors' estimation, Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin was the top player in the draft and Curry was second.
Nelson said he's been looking for another Steve Nash for a long time and that Curry is as close as he's seen in a young player. Nelson even said he considers Curry the point guard and eventually will shift penciled-in starter Monta Ellis to shooting guard and Stephen Jackson to small forward.
So the Warriors were elated when Curry landed in their laps. They didn't think he would be there at No. 7. But the Minnesota Timberwolves' drafting Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn at No. 6 opened the door.
Curry said he never saw himself falling past No. 7, although New York Knicks management and fans were wishing for him at No. 8.
"I definitely see Golden State as a great fit for the way I play," said Curry, who will wear No. 30. "I'm definitely happy to be a part of this."
Another reason the Warriors are fine with potentially missing out on Stoudemire is that they have other options. Riley declined to comment about the reported trade talks, per team policy.
But he said next on the agenda was to address the big-man issue by, preferably, nabbing a veteran power forward who can create offense inside.
For example, the Warriors still can make an offer to Toronto for All-Star power forward Chris Bosh or to Utah for power forward Carlos Boozer, and keep Curry.
It can't be overlooked that Curry might have given the Warriors the out they needed.
Stoudemire likely would have required the maximum extension, which would have put the Warriors on the hook for five years and more than $95 million, including the two years and $34 million Stoudemire has left.
Buyer's remorse might have been inevitable considering Stoudemire has had two microfracture surgeries and a serious eye injury that sidelined him for a significant chunk of last season.
The fan reaction about Stoudemire — based on blog comments and fan forums — wasn't unanimously positive (probably closer to split), presumably for the aforementioned reasons. But the reaction to the drafting of Curry has been closer to a home run from the fans' perspective.
From the Warriors management's perspective, it was a grand slam. That's why he's staying.
Contact Marcus Thompson II at firstname.lastname@example.org.