Over the years, the Golden State Warriors have benefitted from some shrewd draft moves. These were 15 of their finest draft-night heists.
This is probably a contender for the all-time most obvious statement, but picking young prospects out of college to improve your franchise isn’t an exact science. Aside from rule and style differences between the collegiate/high school/international ranks and the NBA, it’s simply hard to gauge how good a player will be, based on his performance against mostly inferior competition.
No matter how much planning goes into a draft, even the best-prepared front offices muck up a draft pick or two. However, those same executives also know how to compensate for those shortcomings by mining some unforeseen value out of later round picks that more dysfunctional teams waste.
That brings us to our beloved Golden State Warriors. Through their 73 years of operation, the Warriors have gotten several obvious picks right — using the territorial pick to take Wilt Chamberlain in 1959, taking Rick Barry second overall in 1965, trading up to nab Chris Webber in 1993 — but their draft history, especially their recent draft history has numerous decisions that look like clever moves in hindsight.
Don’t get me wrong, Golden State has whiffed their fair share of top picks — taking Ekpe Udoh in 2010 over Paul George and Gordon Hayward, for instance — but the Warriors’ track record of finding and developing talent without the benefit of multiple top-three picks is commendable, at the very least.
Look, we all know who will end up near the front of this list, but, hopefully, this list will inform you of some other names that you aren’t as familiar with.