clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ranking the Warriors draft picks since 1989: Picks 11-20

There are some fun names on this list.

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz, Game 1 Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have made some spectacular draft picks over the years. They’ve also made some rather horrendous ones. So why not rank them all?

But simply ranking every draft pick in Warriors history would be a little fruitless, because obviously those taken at the top of draft are likely to be better. Instead, I wanted to focus on the players drafted within certain slots.

So I ranked all of the Warriors draft picks by section: Picks 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51-60.

A few notes:

  • I needed a cutoff somewhere, so I went with 1989. Why? That’s when the NBA Draft switched to two rounds. In 1988, for example, there were three rounds and 75 picks. 1971, the first year that they were officially the Golden State Warriors? 19 rounds and 237 players.
  • I’m only using players that the Warriors effectively drafted. Players they technically drafted but traded are not included; however, players they didn’t technically draft but immediately acquired are included. In other words, Antawn Jamison counts but Vince Carter does not.
  • I’m valuing players in a vacuum. It’s a ranking of how good the player is, not how good the selection was. So Adonal Foyle isn’t docked for being taken one slot ahead of Tracy McGrady. That said, I’m including a note as to what other players might have been available, just for context and self-loathing.
  • I’m only judging players based on NBA production — with or without the Warriors — but I will note what they’ve done outside of the NBA.

Last Wednesday covered slots 51-60. All four of them. Thursday was slots 41-50, and Friday was Draymond Green’s area: 31-40. On Monday we did 21-30, and now it’s time for 11-20.

We’ve got 13 players, and only one has spent his whole career with the Warriors. Here they are.

13. Todd Fuller

11th overall, 1996 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (2 years, 132 games)
11.8 minutes, 4.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.3 blocks per game

Career stats (5 years, 225 games)
11.1 minutes, 3.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.3 blocks per game

Notable players selected after him
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jermain O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Peja Stojaković, Derek Fisher, Tony Delk, Malik Rose

As mentioned in the introduction, I’m not ranking players based on the quality of the pick relative to the available players. But if I were, Fuller would finish . . . umm . . . what’s lower than last?

12. Clifford Rozier

16th overall, 1994 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (3 years, 126 games)
17. 6 minutes, 5.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game

Career stats (4 years, 173 games)
17.2 minutes, 4.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game

Notable players selected after him
Aaron McKie, Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley

Rozier unfortunately died of a heart attack at the young age of 45.

11. Jiří Welsh

16th overall, 2002 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (1 year, 37 games)
6.3 minutes, 1.6 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game

Career stats (4 years, 247 games)
18.6 minutes, 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Matt Barnes, John Salmons, Roger Mason Jr., Rasual Butler, Juan Dixon

Welsh had a bit of a funny career trajectory. He couldn’t get off the bench for the Warriors as a rookie, as he only appeared in 37 games, and averaged just 6.3 minutes in those games.

But in his sophomore year, as a member of the Boston Celtics, he played 81 games, started 68 of them, played 26.9 minutes a night, and averaged 9.2 points.

And then he got worse the next year, worse the year after that, and was out of the league the year after that.

10. Anthony Randolph

14th overall, 2008 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (2 years, 96 games)
19.6 minutes, 9.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game

Career stats (6 years, 252 games)
15.2 minutes, 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game

Notable players selected after him
Serge Ibaka, Roy Hibbert, Goran Dragic, DeAndre Jordan, Robin Lopez, George Hill, JaVale McGee, Nicolas Batum, Luc Mbah a Moute

I still think that Randolph could be a good NBA player. He’s just 30 years old, playing very well in Europe, and has developed a strong three-point shot. And I often wonder how he would have done if drafted by the Steve Kerr Warriors (or even the Mark Jackson Warriors) rather than the Don Nelson Warriors.

Mind you, he didn’t do well at other stops after the Warriors, but still. Had Nellie not been forcing him to be a point-forward (a skill he still hasn’t developed), who knows what might have become of him.

As it is, he stands as the last in a long string of disappointing lottery picks by the Warriors. That streak ended the next year with a little someone named Steph Curry.

But we’ll always have the Randolph highlights, and they certainly were something.

9. Victor Alexander

17th overall, 1991 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (4 years, 271 games)
20.9 minutes, 9.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game

Career stats (5 years, 286 games)
20.1 minutes, 8.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Rick Fox

Technically, Alexander’s NBA career was almost exclusively with the Warriors. He played 15 games for the Detroit Pistons during the 2001-02 season (ten years after he was drafted!) but otherwise spent his whole tenure with the Dubs.

But he’s got a few other hats hanging in his closet. In 1995, the Warriors traded him to the Toronto Raptors, who were in their inaugural season. But they tried to trade him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, only to have the trade fall through after Alexander failed a physical. Toronto then rerouted him to the New York Knicks, but he never played for them.

Instead, Alexander went to Europe for a handful of years, before returning to the NBA for his 15-game stint.

8. Mickaël Piétrus

11th overall, 2003 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (5 years, 310 games)
21.0 minutes, 8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game

Career stats (10 years, 557 games)
21.5 minutes, 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
David West, Boris Diaw, Josh Howard, Zaza Pachulia, Leandro Barbosa, Mo Williams, Kyle Korver, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Luke Ridnour, Carlos Delfino, Luke Walton, Carlos Delfino, Steve Blake, Willie Green

It’s kind of crazy to think that Piétrus was selected in the same draft as LeBron James. Piétrus had a good and long career that ended ages ago, and James is about to finish second in MVP voting. It feels like the Warriors have had several different eras just in that time frame.

That 2003 draft was also crazy for Golden State, as six players from it (Piétrus, West, Pachulia, Barbosa, Blake, and Žarko Čabarkapa) suited up for the Warriors, two more (Walton and Green) became Warriors assistant coaches, and one (Pachulia) is a member of the front office.

14 years after the 2003 draft, the Warriors beat three players from the draft (James, Korver, and Dahntay Jones) in the NBA Finals. 15 years after the draft, the Warriors again beat three players from it (James, Korver, and Perkins) in the Finals.

Anyways, back to Piétrus. I will never, for the rest of my life, see a player catch the ball in the corner, take a step backwards as they take their first step, go out of bounds, and get called for a turnover without thinking of Piétrus.

But I do miss the guy.

7. Marco Belinelli

18th overall, 2007 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (2 years, 75 games)
15.0 minutes, 6.2 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game

Career stats (13 years, 855 games)
22.7 minutes, 9.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Marc Gasol, Wilson Chandler, Jared Dudley, Ramon Sessions

Belinelli has had a rather fascinating career. He’s the epitome of a journeyman, as he’s already played for nine NBA teams. That’s nearly one-third of the entire league!

He’s played in at least 50 games for all but one of those teams, but in more than 100 games for just two of them.

Yet despite all the bouncing around, Belinelli has played steady minutes all along the way. He’s 13 years into a career that is still going, and has for his career averaged well over 20 minutes per night. He’s just two years removed from his career high in minutes and points.

It’s still weird that Don Nelson was given an excellent three-point shooter and essentially said “nah,” but so it goes. He wasn’t able to do much for the Warriors, but Belinelli certainly carved himself out a nice career.

6. Troy Murphy

14th overall, 2001 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (6 years, 359 games)
28.2 minutes, 11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game

Career stats (12 years, 729 games)
27.3 minutes, 10.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur, Jamaal Tinsley

Are you in the mood for some mid-range jumpers that always look off-balance even though they’re wide open? Because that was the glorious Troy Murphy experience.

Warriors fans will likely always lump Murphy and Mike Dunleavy Jr. together as a disappointing duo that earned the “soft” label on a nightly basis. But that doesn’t change the fact that Murphy was a very solid player, albeit one who may not have had a single highlight in his 12-year career.

5. Andris Biedriņš

11th overall, 2004 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (9 years, 510 games)
21.8 minutes, 6.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game

Career stats (10 years, 516 games)
21.6 minutes, 6.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game

Notable players selected after him
Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Tony Allen, Anderson Varejão

I will always have a soft spot for Beans. His career numbers don’t look great, and he’s often remembered more for the free throw foibles (20-84 in his final five seasons) than anything.

But before that, he was damn good. During his three year peak — starting with the We Believe Warriors and concluding in 2008-09 — he averaged 10.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 60.1% from the field and 56.5% from the free-throw line.


A true legend.

4. Tyrone Hill

11th overall, 1990 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (3 years, 230 games)
22.4 minutes, 7.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game

Career stats (14 years, 801 games)
28.0 minutes, 9.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Jayson Williams, Toni Kukoc, Dee Brown, Cedric Ceballos, Antonio Davis

I’m not sure that averaging 13.8 points and 10.9 rebounds on a 43-win team should earn you an All-Star nod, but it did, and so Hill will always go down in history as an All-Star. Good for him.

3. Chris Gatling

16th overall, 1991 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (5 years, 311 games)
17.6 minutes, 9.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game

Career stats (11 years, 700 games)
19.7 minutes, 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game

Notable players selected after him
Rick Fox

Gatling had a long career with a very short peak. Here are his points per game averages in each of his 11 years, from highest to lowest:

19.0, 13.7, 11.9, 11.5, 11.4, 11.1, 9.3, 8.2, 6.4, 5.7, 5.7

That one year of 19.0 — 1996-97, when he also averaged a career-high 7.9 rebounds per game — was enough to propel him to an All-Star Game. And he never came close to it again.

Shall we run the highlights? No? Okay.

2. Tim Hardaway

14th overall, 1989 NBA Draft

Warriors stats (6 years, 422 games)
37.0 minutes, 19.8 points, 9.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game

Career stats (13 years, 867 games)
35.3 minutes, 17.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game

Notable players selected after him
Shawn Kemp, B.J. Armstrong, Vlade Divac, Dana Barros, Cliff Robinson

Hardaway didn’t stay in the Bay Area as long as fans hoped, but my goodness was his time special. Averaging nearly 20 and 10, including two years when he did? Making the All-Star team three times (he added two more selections later in his career)? Recovering from a knee injury to still be really good?

He was the total package. Talk about playing with style.

1. Klay Thompson

11th overall, 2011 NBA Draft

Warriors and career stats (8 years, 615 games)
33.1 minutes, 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game

Notable players selected after him
Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler

First off, talk about a good draft for two-way wings who were overlooked. Thompson went 11th overall, with Leonard going 15th, and Butler 30th. Yeesh.

You can make a case for Hardaway in the top spot here, but that case is getting harder to make. Thompson is a legit two-way star, capable of both playing lockdown defense on the opposing team’s best player, and exploding for 50 in a matter of minutes.

He’s a five-time All-Star, a three-time champion, an All-Defense selection, and has never shot worse than 40% from deep in his career. He’s the second-greatest shooter in NBA history in many people’s eyes, including mine.

The fact that he is lovable and hilarious, and has endeared himself to the Warriors fanbase as much as is humanly possible, is just the icing on the cake.

Bring back basketball. I miss Klay.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind