Golden State Warriors: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

To say that Draymond Green was an overlooked prospect would be like saying that the current Warriors’ starting lineup is merely a fine collection of talent. Every team — including the Warriors, who took Harrison Barnes with the No. 7 overall pick — passed up on Green at least once. Of course, when your closest NBA comps heading into the draft are Luke Harangody and Jared Dudley, that doesn’t speak well to your long-term NBA hopes.

That said, the very same scouting report that affixed those names next to Green’s also noted that he was the ultimate “glue guy” and that adjective was spot on.

Green didn’t become a full-time starter in Golden State until his third year, as his minutes increase coincided with a David Lee injury. Once Green did, however, he essentially rendered Lee and his retrograde style of basketball extinct.

Green became the ultimate Swiss Army Knife player, albeit one who acts like a pro wrestling heel at times. His quick feet make him a stingy perimeter defender (this earned him the nickname “The Dancing Bear” at Michigan State), his over 7-foot wingspan allows him to fill in as an above-average-to-good rim protector, he’s a brilliant passer, especially in transition and, at least until the last couple of years, was a serviceable 3-point shooter.

Mix all of that together, and you get a player with a career .139 WS/48, though that number has been on the decline since 2015-16 when Green was at the peak of his powers. Still, teams often struggle to find any sort of value on the back-nine of the draft, so the Warriors nabbing an all-world defender at that spot is nothing short of amazing.