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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Troy Murphy, Golden State Warriors
Troy Murphy, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Drafting Gilbert Arenas in the second round wasn’t the only coup the Warriors pulled off in the 2001 NBA Draft. Earlier in the proceedings, Golden State used their second first-round pick of the night (they used their first on Jason Richardson), to select Notre Dame forward Troy Murphy.

While it’s easy to slap the “white guy who shoots 3’s” label on Murphy, the lanky big man had a couple more tools in the toolbox, namely a surprisingly slick post game and an innate nose for the ball, especially on the offensive glass. In six seasons with the Warriors, Murphy averaged 8.2 total rebounds and 2.4 offensive boards per game.

That said, the long-range shooting was Murphy’s calling card. In 12 seasons, Murphy logged a robust 38.8 percentage from beyond the arc, though he only shot 35.0 percent from distance during his Warriors tenure.

Surely, someone has said this before, but Murphy likely came up during the wrong era, or, at the very least, the wrong era of Warriors basketball. These days, players with Murphy’s size and shooting ability would be valued a lot more than they were during one of the most offensively stifling periods of NBA basketball.

Nevertheless, Murphy turned in a half-dozen solid seasons with the Dubs before they traded him to the Indiana Pacers (who, ironically traded the pick that was eventually used for him to the Warriors for Jeff Foster) for a package that included Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson, players who would become vital to the Warriors becoming the third No. 8 seed in league history to win a playoff series.