Best Lottery Picks in Warriors History
While success can never be guaranteed, these players lived up to their early draft night selections
It’s a big week for the Warriors who hold the second overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday. Since the initial NBA Draft Lottery in 1985, the Warriors have had 22 lottery picks, and they’ll add more to that list on Wednesday evening.
Though success can never be guaranteed, here are some of the franchises’ finest lottery selections:
The Warriors selected Chris Mullin with the seventh overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, the first-ever year of the NBA Draft Lottery. Mullin became a five-time NBA All-Star and went on to spend 13 of his 16 seasons with the Dubs, proving to be a Warrior through and through when he returned back to the club for his final season as a player. The sharp-shooting lefty was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, once as part of the ‘Dream Team’ (2010) and again as an individual in 2011. In 2012, the Warriors retired Mullin's jersey number (17), becoming just the sixth player in team history to have a jersey retired.
The Dubs selected Mitch Richmond with the fifth overall pick in the 1988 Draft, with the rook taking the league by storm and capturing the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. In his three seasons with the club, Richmond averaged 22.7 points and 5.5 rebounds, becoming a key scorer for the Warriors and a member of the trio ‘Run TMC.’ In his 14 years in the league, Richmond became a six-time All-Star, NBA Champion (2002), and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (2014).
The Warriors made a draft-night trade to acquire Chris Webber, sending third overall selection Anfernee Hardaway and three future first rounders to Orlando for the Michigan standout big man. Webber averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds, earning the NBA Rookie of the Year award in his only season as a Warrior before returning to the Dubs late in his career in 2008. Over the course of his 17-year NBA career, the five-time NBA All-Star averaged 20.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Though drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 1998 NBA Draft, Antawn Jamison was traded to the Warriors in exchange for guard Vince Carter, who the Dubs selected one pick later. Jamison spent the first five years of his NBA career with the Dubs, gaining recognition for his consistency as a steady scorer. Over the course of his 16-year career in the league, Jamison became a two-time NBA All-Star and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2004.
Selected by the Warriors with the fifth overall pick in the 2001 Draft, Jason Richardson entered the league and made an immediate impact on the team. In his first season, Richardson was named NBA All-Rookie First Team (2002) and was recognized as the Rookie Challenge MVP. Richardson continued to take flight, earning two NBA Slam Dunk Champion titles (2002, 2003) and becoming just the second player after Michael Jordan to win the competition back-to-back. Richardson played the first six years of his 13 NBA seasons with the Warriors, leading the club in scoring three times before wrapping up his Warriors tenure as a key cog during the ‘We Believe’ playoff run in 2007.
The Dubs selected Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Now among the marquee faces in the league, the guard out of Davidson is a three-time NBA champion, six-time All-Star, and two-time MVP who in 2016 became the first player in NBA history to be elected MVP by unanimous vote. During that 2015-16 MVP season, Curry led the league in scoring while shooting above an impressive 50-40-90. To date, Curry holds NBA records for career free throw percentage and single-season 3-pointers (402 in 2015-16), and is third in career 3-pointers with 2,495 entering the 2020-21 season.
The Warriors selected Klay Thompson with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Since entering the league, the five-time All-Star and three-time NBA Champion has made quite an impact, averaging 19.5 points across 615 games in eight seasons. Considered one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Thompson joins Curry as one of the ‘Splash Brothers’ with the duo combining for a NBA record of the most three-pointers made.
Selected by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Harrison Barnes played four seasons with the Dubs averaging 10.1 points per game. During his time with the club, Barnes played a pivotal role in helping the Warriors clinch the franchise’s first NBA Championship in 40 years (2015). Following his time with the Dubs, Barnes has continued his nine-year NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.
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