When the Golden State Warriors drafted Draymond Green in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, they weren’t just adding a future Defensive Player of the Year to their roster. They were making the next transaction is a string of transactions that dated back to 1997.
Green, now a three-time All-Star, represents nearly 22 years of Warriors basketball, even though he’s playing in just his seventh NBA season.
Confused? Let me explain. The Ringer just published a truly remarkable piece of sports writing, in which Zach Kram tracked the longest current transaction tree in each franchise. A transaction tree is exactly what it sounds like: A tree connecting numerous transactions that a franchise made, representing the pieces responsible for a current player being on the roster. Some players pop up organically, through team-owned draft picks or free agency. Others are acquired through direct trades, or trades for the draft pick ultimately used on that player.
The Warriors longest transaction tree put them smack dab in the middle of the league, and takes us back to the 90’s, where a familiar name finds a new spelling.
15. Golden State Warriors: June 25, 1997
Draft: Marc Jackson → Jermareo Davidson (as future pick) → Brandan Wright → Draymond Green (as future pick)
Sure, this isn’t that Mark Jackson, but it’s a nice bit of poetry nonetheless that the originator of Green’s tree has the same name as the coach who didn’t fully tap into his talent. In Green’s last season under Jackson, he started 12 games and averaged 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest; in his first season under Steve Kerr, he started 79 times and averaged 11.7-8.2-3.7.
Let’s break it down even further.
On June 25, 1997, the Warriors drafted Marc Jackson, a 6’10” center, with the 37th-overall pick. In parts of two seasons with Golden State Jackson averaged 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, but his impact was bigger than he’ll ever know. Jackson gave this glorious website our motto, when the then-rookie exclaimed “unstoppable, baby!” during a 29-point loss.
On February 21, 2002, Jackson was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Dean Garrett and a 2007 second-round pick. Garrett played just five games for the Dubs - the final five games of his career - but the 2007 second-round pick ended up being important.
On June 28, 2007, on a heartbreaking day for Warriors fans, the rights to that second-round pick were traded, along with Jason Richardson, to the Charlotte Bobcats for the rights to Charlotte’s first-round pick. Per the Bobcats request, the Warriors drafted Jermareo Davidson with the 36th-overall pick, while Charlotte used the eighth-overall pick on Brandon Wright, the Warriors target.
Interestingly enough, the Bobcats cut Davidson after one season, and he spent his second -and final - NBA season with the Warriors, where he played in 14 games.
Wright had an up-and-down campaign with the Warriors, which featured a lot of unfulfilled potential, a few doghouses, and a shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2009-10 season. Despite being on the roster for parts of four seasons, he played in only 98 games for the Warriors, and averaged 5.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
On February 23, 2011, Wright and Dan Gadzuric were traded to the then-New Jersey Nets in exchange for old friend Troy Murphy (who was promptly bought out) and New Jersey’s 2012 second-round draft pick.
And then, on June 28, 2012, the Warriors used that pick, the 35th overall, on Draymond Green, who has remained on the roster ever since.
That bit of Warriors history may be a little bit excessive, but it’s also pretty fascinating, and a strong reminder of how the fate of the league can hang on the littlest pieces.