On June 25, 2009, the Golden State Warriors drafted Steph Curry. Ten years and 16 days later, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. With that move, Curry moved to second in the NBA for longest tenure with his current team. The only player he sits behind is Udonis Haslem, though that feels like a technicality. At this point, Haslem is essentially an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, having appeared in just 43 games and played fewer than 300 minutes over the last four seasons combined.
During his time in the Bay Area, Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.
And I’m ranking all 106, one a day, over the course of three months.
Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.
To see all of the rankings thus far, you can click on the “Ranking Steph’s teammates” tag at the top of the article.
#90 — Alen Smailagić
Games: 14 (84th out of 106)
Points per game: 4.2 (T-72nd out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 1.9 (T-75th out of 106)
Assists per game: 0.9 (T-62nd out of 106)
I expect Alen Smailagić to rise on this list as the years go on. He’s only 19, and under guaranteed contract for next season. The Warriors have affordable team options for Smailagić’s third and fourth NBA seasons, so if he shows improvement next year, he’ll be in the Bay Area a while longer.
I’m optimistic about Smailagić — more optimistic than most people are. Some of that is appealing to authority, as the Warriors brass has not been shy about their infatuation with Smailagić. Perhaps I’m too heavily influenced by the Toni Kukoc portions of The Last Dance — Kukoc was also a second-round European player who came with front office praise rarely used on players that deep in the draft.
In all likelihood, we won’t know if Smiley is a quality NBA player for a few years. He’s one of the league’s youngest players, and bigs often take extra long to develop their skills. But he has a unique blend of touch with the basketball, passing ability, and defensive instincts.
Perhaps the most encouraging part of his game is the fact that Draymond Green has praised it — no small feat. Green has also suggested that Smailagić doesn’t yet know anything about where to be on the court, which would seem to imply that he sees a lot of room for growth.
Which is good, because Smailagić needs to grow in order to be good. He’s as raw as a deli shelf steak, but he certainly flashes things that make you think about what could be down the road.
Between Smailagić’s time in the G League, and Curry’s hand injury, the two players haven’t actually been on the court together yet. But that time will come next season, and then Smiley will have a chance to move into the top 89 Warriors teammates that Curry has had.
I, for one, am excited.