8 Best undrafted talents to play for the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors, John Starks. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet /Allsport
Golden State Warriors, John Starks. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet /Allsport /
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The Golden State Warriors have won seven championships, including four in the last nine years. Their recent run has been built on stellar drafting and some shrewd roster moves. The Dubs are keeping the band together and chasing another championship. It is the golden era of Warriors basketball, but the franchise has historically done well in finding undrafted talent.

Finding the right pieces is difficult. Teams miss in the draft, sign players that never live up to the hype, and make misguided trades all the time. That is what has made the Warriors’ recent run so impressive. They have kept Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green together and done nothing but win for approaching an entire decade.

Who are the best-undrafted players that the franchise has found? They are some of the best in NBA history, and one was a key piece of the Warriors championship in 2022.

Best undrafted talents to play for the Golden State Warriors

8. Gary Payton II

Payton is the son of the nine-time All-Star and Hall of Fame point guard of the same name. He played two years of college basketball at Oregon State before going undrafted in 2016. The 6’3 guard struggled to find opportunities during his first five years in the NBA as he mostly played in the G League before landing with the Warriors at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Payton II found an organizational fit, but he was unsure that he would make the roster the following season. He nearly applied for a job as the team’s video coordinator before getting a new contract and playing a key role on their title team. GPII averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes per game, and the Dubs needed his defense and shot-making during their run.

Gary Payton II got a three-year contract worth $26.1 million during the 2022 offseason from the Portland Trail Blazers but was traded back to the Warriors at the deadline. He was again a key role player in the playoffs, but Golden State was knocked out by the Lakers in the second round.

Injuries and a limited offensive skill set have kept The Mitten’s minutes down throughout his career, but to go from undrafted to clawing his way into the league to a key rotation piece on a title team is impressive, and the Golden State Warriors uncovered a hidden gem.