The Golden State Warriors are one of two teams that hold a pair of lottery picks going into the 2021 NBA Draft. Although the Dubs didn’t get the luck they were hoping for to jump into the top four, they should be able to add some talented pieces as they gear up for another championship run next season.
The Warriors are slated to pick seventh and fourteenth next month. That could change if general manager Bob Myers makes a trade to try and acquire an established veteran, but owner Joe Lacob has said he doesn’t anticipate adding too much in salary, given the franchise’s luxury tax situation.
This will be the third time since 2009 that the Warriors are picking No. 7. The hope is that they can get as lucky as they did 12 years ago.
Golden State has the best player ever to be selected No. 7 in NBA history in Stephen Curry. The two-time NBA MVP has also won two NBA scoring titles and led the franchise to three NBA championships. Curry changed the way the game is played and will go down as the greatest shooter in NBA history.
The Warriors also had success with the seventh pick in 1985 when they landed Hall of Famer Chris Mullin. The sharpshooter averaged 18.2 points and shot 36.6 from deep over this 13 seasons with the team.
Some of the other notable players selected No. 7 in the NBA Draft are Nene Hilario, Richard Hamilton, Jason Williams, Damon Stoudemire, Kevin Johnson, Bernard King and John Havlicek.
Looking at recent history, the Warriors have decent odds to land at least an above-average contributor with the seventh pick, but there have been some misses as well.
Here is a look at No. 7 selections over the past 10 NBA Drafts:
2020 Killian Hayes, France - Detroit Pistons
2019 Coby White, North Carolina – Chicago Bulls
2018 Wendell Carter Jr., Duke – Chicago Bulls
2017 Lauri Markkanen, Arizona – Minnesota Timberwolves
2016 Jamal Murray, Kentucky – Denver Nuggets
2015 Emmanuel Mudiay, Guangdong Tigers – Denver Nuggets
2014 Julius Randle, Kentucky – Los Angeles Lakers
2013 Ben McLemore, Kansas – Sacramento Kings
2012 Harrison Barnes, North Carolina – Golden State Warriors
2011 Bismack Biyombo, Congo – Sacramento Kings
Going back to the 2011 draft, Biyombo has managed to carve himself out a lengthy NBA career. The Kings drafted the big man, but his rights were traded to the Charlotte Hornets on draft night.
Biyombo has averaged 5.1 points and 6.1 rebounds over 10 NBA seasons. His best year came with the Toronto Raptors in 2014-15, when he put up 5.5 points and a career-high 8 rebounds per game. Biyombo parlayed that into a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Orlando Magic in free agency but hasn’t lived up to the contract.
The Warriors selected Barnes No. 7 in 2012, and he was a solid contributor for the team early in his career. Barnes averaged 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds his inaugural year and was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. He played four seasons with the Warriors and helped them win a title in 2015. Barnes is one of the better players on the Sacramento Kings and has been a reliable scorer during his career.
McLemore has established himself as a depth piece over his eight years in the league. His best season came in his second year in the league when he averaged 12.1 points and 32.1 minutes for the Kings. McLemore has put up 8.9 points during his career and shoots a tidy 36.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Randle has steadily improved during his time in the NBA and had his best season in 2020-21. The Kentucky product won the NBA Most Improved Player Award while averaging 24.1 points and 10.2 rebounds for the Knicks. Out of the previous 10 players selected No. 7, only one has made an All-Star appearance. That came this season when Randle was given the honor.
It didn’t start well for Randle. He broke his right leg in his first game with the Lakers, and it took him a few seasons to find his footing. The Lakers renounced Randle’s rights following the 2017-18 campaign, even though he put up 16.1 points and 8 rebounds, which led to him signing with the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency.
The Nuggets made their first of back-to-back No. 7 selections in 2015 when they took Mudiay. His career got off to a good start in Denver as he put up 12.8 points and 5.5 assists. However, Mudiay’s numbers have fallen since his rookie year, and he has now played for three different NBA teams.
Murray is one of the top three players from the 2016 class. The Canadian has developed into a prolific scorer, averaging a career-high 21.1 points last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Murray has put up double-digit scoring numbers in four of his five seasons and appears to be a cornerstone player for Denver.
Markkanen, Carter, White each averaged more than 10 points per game in their rookie seasons. The trio all suited up for the Bulls in Year 1, and since Chicago hasn’t been a very good team, each got ample playing time as rookies.
All three players will be in the NBA for a long time. Markkanen is a stretch-4 who shoots above league-average and is more than capable of being a consistent scoring threat.
Carter has been good at both ends of the floor. He has almost averaged a double-double during his career (11 points, 8.2 rebounds) and has shown flashes of potential on the defensive end. While his underlying numbers took a dip last season, he was one of Chicago’s best defenders over his first seasons.
The early returns on White have been good for the Bulls. The North Carolina product is averaging 14.2 points and 3.8 assists over the past two seasons. White has shown off his playmaking abilities and looks to be a part of the Bulls’ future plans.
Hayes was talked about as being one of the most talented players available in last year’s draft, but he struggled as a rookie with the Pistons. Perhaps the toll of not having a full preseason due to the pandemic played a role in his difficulties, but Hayes still put up 6.8 points and 5.3 assists per contest.
The Warriors are in need of playmakers behind Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. Looking at the previous 10 No. 7 picks, the odds are in their favor to add a young piece that can contribute next season.
It’s a unique spot for the Warriors to be in. With Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green on the roster, the Dubs are hoping to be among the championship contenders next season. Myers needs to add some depth to the bench and someone who can help carry the playmaking duties when Curry is on the bench.
Davion Mitchell, James Bouknight, Moses Moody and Jalen Johnson are some of the names that could be on the board at No. 7.