Why the Golden State Warriors Were Not a Typical Super Team


In the NBA, the phrase “super team” is thrown out there a lot. Super team implies you have multiple All Stars through signing and trading for players. That is what the Boston Celtics did in 2008, when they had Paul Pierce and traded everyone else to get Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. That’s what the Miami Heat did in 2010, when they had Dwyane Wade and signed Lebron James and Chris Bosh to go with him. Those are super teams.

The Warriors in 2014-15 and 2015-16 were not super teams.

Before Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors in the summer of 2016, They built themselves through the draft and they built themselves on other team’s mistakes.

In 2015-16, the Warriors won 73 games with 4 home grown players leading the way. Those 4 players. listed below, were also the top 4 point scorers for this team.

Steph Curry was drafted #7 in 2009.

The two-time NBA MVP was drafted 7th. In fact, another MVP was drafted 3rd, James Harden. Blake Griffin went #1 and (deep sigh) Hasheem Thabeet went #2 to Grizzlies.

Curry was the 5th guard drafted after Harden, Tyreke Evans (who won 2010 Rookie of the Year), Johnny Flynn, and Ricky Rubio. The latter two were both drafted by Minnesota at #5 and #6. I wonder if the Timberwolves ever regretted that? I also wonder if the Wolves are scared to pick ahead of the Warriors again in the 2020 Draft?

If you need someone to blame the Warriors’ success on – Grizzlies, Kings, Wolves.

Klay Thompson was drafted #11 in 2011

Thompson was drafted one spot after the Kings selected Jimmer Fredette 10th overall. Yiiiiiikes.

Guards Brandon Knight (8 to Pistons) and Kemba Walker (9 to Hornets) went right before Jimmer and Klay. Fine, fair.

Some bad picks include Wolves drafting Derrick Williams #2 and Wizards drafting Jan Vessley #6.

And then there is Bismack Biyombo, who went #7 to the Kings, but was traded to the Hornets.

Draymond Green was drafted #35 in 2012

As a second round pick, everyone is to blame as everyone passed on him. This pick originally belonged to the Nets. In February 2011, Nets traded this pick and Troy Murphy to the Warriors for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

Ironically, when you say “everyone passed on him” that includes the Warriors, who took Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick, at the end of the first round. Green and Ezeli were two of three draft picks for the Warriors, including this next guy…

Harrison Barnes was drafted #7 in 2012

No, Barnes isn’t on the same level as Curry, Thompson, and Green. But he was 4th on the team in scoring, averaging 11.7 ppg and 5th in rebounding at 4.9 rpg.

I always felt that the Cavs should have drafted Barnes at 4, over Dion Waiters. Barnes went one pick after Damian Lillard and one before Terrance Ross.

Like I said, the Warriors weren’t a super team in the same sense that others have been. They were simply a smart team. Great drafting and smart trades. Trades like Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut and acquiring Andre Iguodala for some draft picks and salary dumps.

And in 2016, they signed Kevin Durant. At that point, you could say they became a super team but you could also blame the rest of the league. Blame the Thunder for blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals and not keeping their homegrown star. Blame the rest of the league’s powers for not being attractive enough for Durant to want to sign there (Lakers, Celtics, Heat, Knicks, Bulls)

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