In the Golden State Warriors’ recent turnaround from one of the worst teams in the NBA to one of the best teams in the NBA, there were several key moments. When the Warriors drafted Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, that was the beginning of the turnaround. When Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team, the culture started to change.
On March 13, 2012, the Golden State Warriors forever changed their franchise. They traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. This monumental trade made a statement to the rest of the NBA that the Warriors were committed to winning and committed to Stephen Curry being the face of the franchise.
At the time, many Warriors fans were shocked and angry that Ellis, a fan favorite, was traded. Even Ellis seemed shocked when the trade was first announced. Now, not just Warriors fans, but also Ellis, can see why this trade was so important for the evolution of this team and why it was ultimately the right decision.
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This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
Last season, the Golden State Warriors clinched their second playoff berth in just 19 seasons. The franchise hasn’t experienced much success in recent history, but the Warriors made those two playoff appearances because of a few key trades.
The following three trades are not listed in any particular order. Here are three of the best trades in Warriors history:
Trade #1: On January 17, 2007, the Warriors acquired Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Josh Powell from the Indiana Pacers for Mike Dunleavy Jr., Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu, and Keith McLeod.
This trade was significant, because it led to the “We Believe” era. The Warriors were 19-20 when the trade was made, and, after the trade, the Warriors offense drastically improved. The Warriors finished 42-40 and earned the eighth seed in the playoffs. The Warriors finished the season over .500 for the first time in over a decade. In the playoffs, the Warriors went on to upset the number one seed in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks.
The Warriors finally had a star in Jackson, and Harrington allowed the Warriors to go small and play the run-and-gun style that was so successful. Captain Jack and Harrington truly re-vamped this Warriors team and helped turn them into one of the most exciting, entertaining teams in the NBA.
Trade #2: On February 24, 2005, the Warriors acquired Baron Davis from the New Orleans Hornets for Speedy Claxton, Dale Davis, and cash.
Davis was a transformational force for the Warriors. Before this trade, the Warriors hadn’t had a true franchise player since the Run TMC era. Davis gave them that. Warriors fans immediately loved Davis for his exciting, confident style of play.
As a Warrior, Davis averaged more than 20 points, eight assists, two steals and nearly five rebounds per game. He is among the franchise leaders in three-point field goals, three-point field goal attempts, points per game, assists per game, steals per game, etc. Davis helped turn a Warriors team that had been so bad for so long into a playoff contender.
Trade #3: On March 13, 2012, the Warriors acquired Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson from the Milwaukee Bucks for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown.
This trade was a controversial one for many fans, since Ellis was a fan favorite at the time. However, this is, arguably, the most impactful trade in Warriors history. The Warriors weren’t going to become a legitimate force in the Western Conference with Ellis on their team. He was too selfish, and he wasn’t the leader that the Warriors needed.
By acquiring Bogut, the Warriors finally had that dominant inside presence that they hadn’t had in so long. Although Bogut was injured when they traded for him, he was exactly the type of center the Warriors needed. He’s a defensive-minded beast who plays with a constant stream of effort. Bogut wasn’t able to play all of last season, but every Warriors fan could see how dominant the Warriors could be when Bogut was on the floor.
His presence alone altered an opponent’s offensive approach. If a player was even able to get to the basket, there was a good chance Bogut was going to block their shot or, at least, alter their shot and snag the rebound. If the Warriors can get at least 60 or 70 games out of Bogut this season, then they will certainly be one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference.
With all that being said, which trade do you think was the best trade in Warriors history?
This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
Stephen Curry is the best player on the Golden State Warriors. In fact, he should’ve been an All-Star this past season. After averaging 21 points, 6.6 assists, four rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 43.4 percent shooting, 44.7 percent shooting from three, and 90.5 percent free-throw shooting in the first half of last season, he was more than deserving of his first All-Star selection.
NBA legends such as Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Chris Mullin all believed that Curry should’ve been an All-Star too.
“The biggest omission was Stephen Curry,” Mullin said. “He has been the key player in the Warriors’ 26-15 record. He has played great and has had to do so without Andrew Bogut and Brandon Rush – two key players out with injuries. Curry is the main reason for the Warriors’ first-half success, and he’s the NBA’s best shooter.”
Instead of being disappointed about not being selected as an All-Star, Curry raised his game to a whole other level in the second half of the season. Curry averaged 26 points, 7.4 assists, four rebounds, and 1.7 steals on 47.6 percent shooting, 46.1 percent shooting from three, and 89.4 percent free-throw shooting.
The second half of the season also included Curry’s unbelievable 54-point game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. In that game, Curry shot 18-for-28 on field goals, 11-for-13 on threes, and 100 percent from the free-throw line as well. He set a franchise record with 11 made 3-pointers in the game, and he scored the most points in NBA history for a player with 10 or more 3-pointers made. This performance was arguably one of the greatest shooting displays ever.
Curry finished the season averaging 22.9 points (seventh in the NBA), 6.9 assists, four rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 45.1 percent shooting, 45.3 percent shooting from three (third in the NBA), and 90 percent free-throw shooting (second in the NBA) in 38.2 minutes per game in 78 games.
The fact that Curry was able to play 78 games was an impressive feat in itself. Curry had two right ankle surgeries in the past two offseasons, which led many people to label him as “injury-prone.” In the shortened 2011-2012 season (66 total games instead of 82 games), he only played in 26 games and was shut down due to his right ankle injuries. He tweaked his ankle a few times during the 2012-2013 regular season, but given how minor they were, he only had to miss four games. He also played in 12 postseason games and 90 total games this past year, which is incredible.
In the postseason, Curry officially became a superstar. He had some incredible performances, including his 31-point effort in Game 4 of the series against the Denver Nuggets. He scored 22 points in the span of about five and a half minutes, and 19 of those 22 points came in the final 4:22 of the quarter.
In the postseason, Curry averaged 23.4 points (sixth in the NBA), 8.1 assists (second in the NBA), 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals on 43.4 percent shooting, 39.6 percent shooting from three, and 92.1 percent free-throw shooting. Curry stepped up when David Lee went down with his right hip flexor injury in Game 1 of the Denver series. Curry also badly sprained his left ankle in Game 2 of the Denver series, but he knew he had to play through it and lead his team to victory.
“He embraced the moment,” Mark Jackson said. “It was like this was something he’s been waiting his entire life for.”
Curry is considered a superstar and one of the best point guards in the NBA by many people, but every superstar can improve their game in some way or another. Curry needs to work on limiting his turnovers, getting physically stronger, drawing more fouls, and becoming a better one-on-one defender. If he can do that next season, he will raise his game to a new level of superstardom.
With Monta Ellis not on the team anymore, Curry knew he had to become more of a leader and a vocal presence on and off the court this past season, which he certainly did. Curry is the face of this franchise, and he’s ready to lead this team to even higher levels of success next season.
This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors selected Nemanja Nedovic with the 30th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Nedovic is a 22 year-old combo guard who is from Serbia and has played professionally for four years in Europe. He’s currently playing for the Lithuanian club Lietuvos rytas in the Lithuanian A League, and he’s averaging 11.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 18 games.
In a conference call yesterday with members of the Warriors media, he said he has a commitment to the Serbian national team, but he still plans on playing in the Las Vegas Summer League. It’s not clear yet if Nedovic will play for the Warriors in the 2013-2014 regular season though. If he does, he could prove to be a valuable asset off the bench for the Warriors for several reasons.
First of all, he’s very athletic, and the Warriors could surely use some more athleticism. His stat line might not sound that amazing, but he has been called the “European Derrick Rose” because of his speed and explosiveness. He uses his speed to beat his man to the basket, where he can either finish with a layup or explode to the rim for a dunk. Standing at 6’4″ and 195 pounds, he has good size for a point guard, and he can guard shooting guards too. He has a 41″ vertical, so he’s an incredible dunker for his size.
Second, he’s extremely effective in the open court. Again, he can use his speed to get steals on defense and break away from a defender to get an easy dunk in transition.
Third, he attacks the rim and is fearless. He finds ways to get into the paint, and he has a quick first step. He utilizes his ball handling skills to get past a defender, and he can finish strong above the rim.
Fourth, he has shown improvement in his ball distribution skills. When Nedovic drives to the basket, his ability to finish draws defenders in, which allows him to pass to open teammates. He’s improved his drive-and-kick skills, and this skill could be extremely valuable to the Warriors, given how they spread the floor with three-point shooters. Nedovic claims that he’s more of a point guard than a shooting guard, but he’s willing to play whatever position the team wants him to.
Lastly, Nedovic says he’s a hard worker, and he knows what he needs to improve on, which is an admirable quality for a young player. He also said he’s had 12 or 13 different coaches since 2007, so he knows how to adapt to a new coach, new system, and new teammates.
Check out a full scouting report below:
Nedovic can improve on his shooting, his defense, and his decision making. In terms of his shooting, he has a good release and mechanics, and he’s slowly gaining more confidence shooting off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. He raised his field goal percentage this season from 27% to 34%, but he still needs to work on consistency.
On defense, Nedovic has the physical tools to guard both point guards and shooting guards, but he needs to improve on his focus. He needs to work on helping his teammates more, recovering if his man beats him, and defending through screens. He believes he can guard quick, athletic point guards, which would really help the Warriors, given Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack’s weaknesses on defense.
He can also work on his overall decision making as a point guard and decreasing his turnovers. However, with Curry and maybe Jack playing in front of him, Nedovic could fluorish as a secondary ball handler who can help create shots for his teammates and attack the rim.
Nedovic will wear #8 for the Warriors. This seems fitting, because a lot of his skills seem similar to the last player to wear #8 for the Warriors: Monta Ellis. Nedovic has also said that his biggest NBA idol growing up was Kobe Bryant, who also wore #8 in the beginning of his career.
Nedovic is an intriguing, young player who could really provide a spark off the bench for the Warriors. It will be interesting to see how he does in Summer League, and, hopefully, he’ll be able to play for the Warriors next season.
On March 13, 2012, the Golden State Warriors made a statement to the NBA and to their fanbase that they were ready to become a winning franchise.
The Warriors organization agreed to a monumental trade that would send guard Monta Ellis (the face of the franchise at the time), forward Ekpe Udoh, and center Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut and guard Stephen Jackson (who was eventually traded for Richard Jefferson and a first-round draft pick).