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Steph Curry is now the only 2009 NBA Draft pick still with his original team

DeMar DeRozan leaving Toronto means Curry stands aone. Makes sense the Warriors would want to keep him.

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan was traded to the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday, and the move earned Steph Curry a new record.

With DeRozan changing counties, Curry is now the only active player from the NBA Draft class of 2009 to have played his entire career with one team. He’s one of only two to currently have a roster spot with the club that originally drafted him. The other honor goes to Brandon Jennings, who made his triumphant return to the Milwaukee Bucks this spring after bouncing around the league (and world).

It’s enough of an accomplishment for many of these players just to remain in the league as they head into their 10th season as pros. Fourteen of 2009’s 30 first round picks spent the 2017-18 seasons somewhere other than the NBA, including high profile selections like No. 2 Hasheem Thabeet and No. 6 Jonny Flynn:

First round picks in the 2009 NBA Draft

Pick Player Original team Current team
Pick Player Original team Current team
1 Blake Griffin Clippers Pistons
2 Hasheem Thabeet Grizzlies Out of NBA
3 James Harden Thunder Rockets
4 Tyreke Evans Kings Pacers
5 Ricky Rubio Timberwolves Jazz
6 Jonny Flynn Timberwolves Out of NBA
7 Stephen Curry Warriors Warriors
8 Jordan Hill Knicks Out of NBA
9 DeMar DeRozan Raptors Spurs
10 Brandon Jennings Bucks Bucks*
11 Terrence Williams Nets Out of NBA
12 Gerald Henderson Bobcats/Hornets Free agent
13 Tyler Hansbrough Pacers Out of NBA
14 Earl Clark Suns Out of NBA
15 Austin Daye Pistons Out of NBA
16 James Johnson Bulls Heat
17 Jrue Holiday 76ers Pelicans
18 Ty Lawson Timberwolves Out of NBA
19 Jeff Teague Hawks Timberwolves
20 Eric Maynor Jazz Out of NBA
21 Darren Collison Hornets/Pelicans Pacers
22 Victor Claver Trailblazers Out of NBA
23 Omri Casspi Kings Grizzlies
24 Byron Mullens Mavericks Out of NBA
25 Rodrigue Beaubois Thunder Out of NBA
26 Taj Gibson Bulls Timberwolves
27 DeMarre Carroll Grizzlies Nets
28 Wayne Ellington Timberwolves Heat
29 Toney Douglas Lakers Out of NBA
30 Christian Eyenga Cavaliers Out of NBA

Even Jennings, the No. 10 pick that year, took the long road back to Milwaukee. He had an explosive rookie campaign that saw him drop 54 points on Curry’s Warriors in just his seventh game as a pro, but struggled to establish himself as more than just a ball-dominant scorer on a series of bad-to-mediocre teams. He went from the Bucks to the Pistons to the Magic to the Knicks and finally to the Wizards, before seemingly washing out of the league in 2017 and accepting a one-year deal with China’s Shanxi Brave Dragons.

He got his release from Shanxi, but spent two months unemployed before the Bucks offered him a spot on their G-League team. Four weeks later, he was promoted back to the main roster, where he nearly notched a triple-double in his return and added some needed depth over the course of 14 games in Milwaukee.

In contrast, Curry’s path has been a straight line. The former Davidson star broke into the league as a gifted shooter and scorer and never really stopped, earning league MVP honors in both 2015 and 2016 while leading the Warriors out of basketball purgatory and to three league titles in the past four seasons. It’s not difficult to see why Golden State has put a premium on keeping him — even well after the expiration dates have come due for several other members of his draft class.

Curry’s tenure in the Bay Area is impressive, but he’s not the only star to be the last man standing on his original team from one of the past decade’s draft classes. John Wall, taken No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft, is still a member of the Washington Wizards. Like Curry, he’s the only active player left in his class to remain with a single team for his whole career.

First round picks in the 2010 NBA Draft

Pick Player Drafted by: Current team:
Pick Player Drafted by: Current team:
1 John Wall Wizards Wizards
2 Evan Turner 76ers Trailblazers
3 Derrick Favors Nets Jazz
4 Wesley Johnson Timberwolves Clippers
5 DeMarcus Cousins Kings Warriors
6 Ekpe Udoh Warriors Jazz
7 Greg Monroe Pistons Free agent
8 Al-Farouq Aminu Clippers Trailblazers
9 Gordon Hayward Jazz Celtics
10 Paul George Pacers Thunder
11 Cole Aldrich Hornets Free agent
12 Xavier Henry Grizzlies Out of NBA
13 Ed Davis Raptors Nets
14 Patrick Patterson Rockets Thunder
15 Larry Sanders Bucks Out of NBA
16 Luke Babbitt Timberwolves Heat
17 Kevin Seraphin Bulls Out of NBA
18 Eric Bledsoe Thunder Bucks
19 Avery Bradley Celtics Clippers
20 James Anderson Spurs Out of NBA
21 Craig Brackins Thunder Out of NBA
22 Elliot Williams Trailblazers Out of NBA
23 Trevor Booker Timberwolves Free agent
24 Damion James Hawks Out of NBA
25 Dominique Jones Grizzlies Out of NBA
26 Quincy Pondexter Thunder Free agent
27 Jordan Crawford Nets Out of NBA
28 Greivis Vasquez Grizzlies Out of NBA
29 Daniel Orton Magic Out of NBA
30 Lazar Hayward Wizards Out of NBA

So what’s the lesson here? It’s that only once-in-a-generation talents has a shot of spending their first decade in the league with the same team — and sometimes, not even then. Players like DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, James Harden, and Blake Griffin all looked like building blocks from their respective teams, but all wound up being traded when those plans fell through.

For Curry and Wall, their long tenures with the teams that drafted them is a byproduct of their skill — but it’s also attributable to a little bit of luck as well.