The Golden State Warriors could have the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and history says they may screw it up. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
In the 462 picks in their long-winded history, the Golden State Warriors have picked first in the NBA Draft just three times. 1965, 1980, and 1995 are the current three, and hopefully, 2020 will be added to list following the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.
All 15 years apart, the Warriors may have waited 25 years to return to the position. However, they’ll be one of just three teams with the highest-overall odds. All having a 14% chance, the league originally adopted the draft to prevent tanking.
For the Warriors, the draft may hurt or help them in just a few weeks. If it helps them, they’ll be sitting pretty with the top pick. Their other three top-overall selections were Fred Hetzel, Joe Barry Carroll, and Joe Smith.
Smith and Carroll both had solid NBA careers while Hetzel dropped the ball for Golden State. That said, let’s take a quick peek at the stars the Warriors missed out on.
For Smith’s 1995 draft, the team missed out on Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett. Garnett, one of the best power forwards to ever play the game, is obviously the big name here. He was, by far, the best player in the draft, being selected No. 5 overall.
As for Carroll’s 1980 draft, the Warriors opted for Purdue-product over Kevin McHale, a player touted as one of the best centers of all time. Then a ten-round draft, Carroll was still a top-ten player taken off the board so there’s probably not too much regret there.
The Warriors were saved by Rick Barry in the 1965 draft. Barry turned out to be the best player in the draft, scoring over 18,000 points in his career. The 13-time All-Star was a dominant force for the Warriors.
Golden State may not have much history to look back on given that their management has largely shifted since any of those picks, but at the end of the day, knowing the past success or lack thereof could inspire confidence in the style of the pick.
That said, this time around, expect the Warriors, if awarded the top pick, to either trade it or select Anthony Edwards who has been the name linked to the Warriors for the past few weeks.