No. 2: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway
We take a major step up for the final two players on this list, as both were generational talents who could have easily been Top-50 players all-time if things had broken differently. As it is, both had impressive careers that included very brief sojourns onto the Warriors.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was a college phenom for his hometown Memphis Tigers, and he entered the 1993 NBA Draft as one of the top prospects. Indeed, he was selected with the third overall pick, just after the 10-foot-tall Shawn Bradley (height figures approximate) and Fab Five big man Chris Webber.
Webber was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic, and could have been a dominant pairing alongside Shaquille O’Neal in the frontcourt. O’Neal, however, was reportedly not interested in sharing the paint, and recommended that the Magic take his Blue Chips co-star Penny Hawdaway instead.
That’s actually what came to pass, as the Magic drafted Webber but immediately turned around and traded him to the Warriors for Hardaway and a trio of first-round picks. Hardaway would go on to form a dynamic pairing with O’Neal, even reaching the NBA Finals in 1995, but significant injuries cut his career shot.
Those picks that were sent to the Magic in the Hardaway deal? One of them comes into play for the final player on our list.