The Golden State Warriors are on track to beat the 1995 Chicago Bulls' 72-10 regular season record. Sitting atop the Western Conference at this historic pace, they are completely and utterly dominant. They are making history.
Stephen Curry is emerging as the most productive player in the NBA, possibly replacing LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Before the Warriors drafted great prospects, and built a franchise with Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green, they struggled to find talent.
This list details 15 of the Warriors draft picks that didn't pan out, and were draft busts. Going in to the 2006 NBA season, the Warriors held the record for most seasons without a playoff appearance, (12 seasons). Within these 12 seasons, are some players on this list who were horrible for Golden State. They continued to make coaching changes, drafted new players, but things were not working out for the California based franchise.
Here is our list of the worst draft mistakes of the Golden State Warriors. The guys on this list were poised to be good NBA players, but never lived up to the expectations put forth for them. The Warriors were never really a great team until Steph Curry teamed up with Klay Thompson. The splash brothers were born in 2011.
15 Steve Logan
Logan was drafted in 2002. Although he was just a second round pick, questions about his height were answered in the NBA. Logan won "Gatorade Player of the Year" in college, leading Cincinnati to successful seasons. He slipped in the NBA draft because of his height. Today, Logan is listed as the third all time scorer for his college, behind Oscar Robertson and Sean Kilpatrick.
After being drafted, Steve was never given a guaranteed contract from Golden State, and refused to sign. Apparently it was a disastrous contract dispute, and Logan was angry. He decided to play overseas in Poland and Israel. As of 2016, he is one of the first College All- Americans that never played a minute in the NBA.
14 Vonteego Cummings
Vonteego Commungs was selected 26th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Immediately after he was picked, he was traded to the Warriors for Jeff Foster. At 6-foot-3, he lacked the ability to get assists, averaging 2.7 through his short, three season career. After two below average seasons with Golden State, he was shopped to the 76ers in 2001, where he averaged 3.3 PPG, and shot around .225% from the three point line. He was released, then went overseas to play in the euro league.
Being a first round pick, he had an abnormally short, and below average career.
13 Jiri Welsch
The Warriors seemed to have knack for taking players unwanted from other teams. Once again, in the 2002 NBA draft, they took the rights for Jiri Welsh who was selected with the 16th overall pick from the Philadelphia 76ers.
In his rookie season he averaged just 1 point per game, before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks. In Dallas, he was traded to Boston, without playing a game.
In 2006, he left the NBA, and went overseas. After high expectations for the NBA, he did not live up to them remotely.
12 Ike Diogu
Drafted ninth overall in the 2005 NBA Draft, Diogu was an under-sized power forward. He was a great college player at Arizona State, where he won Pac-10 player of the year.
The NBA did not work out for Diogu, as he never averaged more than 8 points for Golden State. After two bad years, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers, then the Sacramento Kings, and then he eventually went to China to play overseas. Diogu had so much potential, which obviously was not developed properly, as he struggled to find his place in the NBA.
11 Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The Warriors took Dunleavy with the third pick in the 2002 draft. Although, he hasn't been a disaster, or even a bad NBA player, the third overall pick needs to be more productive than he was.
Although Dunleavy ended up being good in the midway part of his career, he was average for the Warriors. He averaged around 11 points for the Warriors, but played big minutes per game. The Warriors decided to resign him for $44 million, for reasons I am unaware.
A solid three point shooter, but he never lived up to the expectations set forth of being a great, or at least solid NBA player. Never once was he an All-Star selection.
10 Clifford Rozier
Another first round pick down the drain, Rozier was picked 16th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. He played two years for the Warriors, but sadly struggled with mental problems. He had immaturity issues as well.
Rozier bounced from team to team, and then retired in 1998 overseas. Unfortunately, this obstacle probably couldn't have been predicted by Golden State, or any team for that matter.
9 Tellis Frank
Picked 14th in the 1987 NBA Draft, Frank lasted five years in the NBA. He was traded to the Miami Heat, after two worthless seasons. After his two years with Miami, he floated in and out of the Euroleague, and the NBA. He is famously quoted saying this.
"The worst thing about Europe is that you can't go out in the middle of the night and get a Slurpee."
Tellis played the majority of his career overseas, then became an assistant coach for a WNBA Atlanta Dream. He averaged nearly 6 points every year of his NBA career, and never panned out even close to an average NBA player.
8 Patrick O' Bryant
At seventh Feet tall, he was selected 9th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. He fractured his foot, and missed all of training camp. Patrick was the first lottery pick to be sent to NBA Development League in 2007. Warriors coach Don Nelson said this about Pat (in 2007).
"I told him if he goes down to the D-League and isn't a dominant player, there should be red flags all over the place," said Nelson. "He's not only not dominating, he's not playing very well... He's a long-term project. I really liked him the first week of training camp, but I assumed there would be great progress. He hasn't gotten better one bit."
This quote says it all. Bryant was a bust, and shouldn't have been picked nearly as early in the draft as he was.
7 Billy Owens
A standout in high school, Owens was projected for a fantastic future.
Selected third overall in the 1991 NBA Draft, he was holding out because he had no interest in playing for the Sacramento Kings. He was traded to the Warriors for Mitch Richmond. With high expectations on his head, he was an average player. Although he didn't have a bad career per say, he should have never been traded for Mitch Richmond, an NBA legend. Richmond won six NBA Championships, and is a hall of famer.
He was classified as player who didn't work hard, and had little commitments. He got injured, and his career took a turn.
6 Russell Cross
He was the 6th overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, picked ahead of Clyde Drexler, Doc Rivers, and Derek Harper. He is a no name who never had an impact in the league. He averaged 3 points in 45 games, and was eventually signed by the Denver Nuggets. He didn't play a game for the Nuggets, and was shipped off the Europe where he spent the remainder of his career.
Another prime example of a guy with so much potential who just wasn't supposed to be picked so high in the draft, or just never committed to being a basketball player full time.
5 Adonal Foyle
Picked 8th overall in he 1997 draft, the Warriors made a huge mistake. He averaged 4.1 points in his entire carer. In 2004, the Warriors made the same mistake they always made and re-signed Foyle to a $42 million. six year contract. He was waived three years later.
If I were Don Nelson, I would have paid Foyle to leave my team, not stay. He never averaged more than 6 or seven rebounds in a season, and he's 6 feet 10 inches..
Foyle retired and became a writer. At least he is good at something. He writes children's books and is a political activist.
4 Joe Smith
Joe Smith was the number one overall pick in the 1995 draft. He was projected to go number 1, and was a consensus pick for all teams. But the Warriors got crazy unlucky.
Smith holds the record for "Most NBA Teams played on".
Although he had three "okay" seasons for Golden State, and in one he averaged 18.7 PPG, he was shipped off to Philadelphia. From Philadelphia his numbers dipped, then his career went to Minnesota, Detroit, Minnesota again, Milwaukee, Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, OKC, Atlanta, New Jersey, and FINALLY to L.A.
This guy has lived all over the United States. Enough said on that.
Although his stats for the Warriors were actually pretty good, they let him go, and his career spiraled down. Joe was a bad pick because he clearly couldn't stay playing a high level of basketball for his whole career. By the end of his career he was averaging 0.5 PPG in 2011. Smith was good for three years, then his career was taken in another direction.
3 Todd Fuller
The 11th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft played five NBA seasons. He is known as one of the NBA's biggest draft busts... ever. He was drafted ahead of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Jermaine O' Neal. The Warriors of old seemed to screw up every time, honestly.
After struggling to make a name for himself in northern California, Fuller ended his career in 2006 in Australia. He is currently a high school math teacher in North Carolina. He averaged 3.7 PPG in the NBA, and 3 rebounds.
2 Joe Barry Carroll
Joe Barry Carroll wasn't a horrible NBA player, but he didn't live up to the billing of a no.1 overall pick and the Warriors traded entirely too much to get him, sending their third overall pick (who turned out to be Kevin McHale) in 1980, as well as Robert Parrish. Part of Carroll's bad reputation was his indifference, earning him the nickname "Joe Barely Cares." Carroll averaged 18.9 points and 9.3 rebounds as a rookie and two years later, he averaged 24.1 points. Carroll would leave the Warriors in 1984 to play in Italy for Simac Milano.
1 Chris Washburn
The Warriors ignored the red flags surrounding Chris Washburn and took him with the third overall pick in 1986. He was paired with Joe Barry Carroll, who had returned to the NBA, but it proved to be disastrous. Washburn played in 72 games over two seasons, only averaging 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He was given a lifetime ban by the NBA in 1989 after failing three drug tests in three years.
Thankfully the dark days of the Warriors are over and it's time for fans to now enjoy that they're witnessing a historic season from Golden State.
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