Still wishing the Thunder had taken Stephen Curry instead of James Harden?

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 28, 2011

* Curry no doubt enjoys starting and averaging 34.9 minutes a game in his career. How much would he enjoy not starting and playing maybe half those minutes? Ever heard Harden complain about playing time or not starting? A young player accepting his role is always a huge plus.

* Had Curry been in OKC, would Westbrook have developed into an All-Star reserve in just three seasons? Remember, the more minutes for Curry, the longer it takes Westbrook to grow at the position.

* There is only one basketball. The more shots Curry takes, the fewer shots everybody else gets. That hasn't been a problem for him in Golden State, but it could have been a potentially big problem in OKC. Would Durant have become the NBA's youngest scoring champ last season if he's sharing shots with Curry? Could Curry have adapted to taking 7.9 shots per game (Harden's career average) rather than 14.2 shots (Curry's career average)?

* Curry was runner-up to Sacramento's Tyreke Evans for 2009-10 Rookie of the Year. Harden has since joined the discussion for Sixth Man of the Year. A win-win.

* Where would OKC be defensively with the offensive-minded Curry? Harden often struggles on defense, but there has been some notable improvement.

* If the Thunder had Curry, it likely would not have Eric Maynor, Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook or Cole Aldrich.

Because Curry primarily would play point guard for the Thunder, there would have been no trade to acquire a rock-solid backup in Maynor from Utah in Dec. 2009.

There also likely would have been no interest in acquiring Cook, who is shooting 43.4 percent (46 for 106) from 3-point range since Brooks consistently started bringing him off the bench on Jan. 28.

OKC had a 27-win improvement last season, which gave the Thunder the necessary draft assets to trade for the No. 11 pick in Aldrich, which in turn brought in Morris Peterson from New Orleans, which eventually led to the acquisition of Mohammed from Charlotte.

Would Curry also have spurred a 27-win improvement? Maybe, maybe not, but it's hard to argue with what has transpired without him.

The Thunder is 98-56 (.636) with Harden on its roster and will advance to the playoffs for a second straight season.

Golden State is almost the exact opposite with Curry at 58-98 (.372).