How the Warriors Extended The Dynasty Through The Draft, an in-depth series
Wonderfully, we have to update this series.
The Original 2020 Series
In 2020, the conventional wisdom was that the 2014-2019 Dynasty Warriors messed up their chance to extend the dynasty by poor drafting. Heck, this was my wisdom before writing this article series in 2020.
I defined a Dynasty as a team that reached multiple Finals in the majority of years in a timespan. To my delight, the 2022 Finals run makes the Warriors qualify from 2015 through 2022, so this is my update on the series. And due to winning the 2022 NBA Championship, we had to — heh heh — change the title of the series.
Too Long; Didn’t Read (Spoilers)
This is the ultra-short summary.
It turns out that the Warriors drafted very well overall relative to the other players that were available, with a couple of direct hits that directly led to the extension of the Dynasty in the 2022 championship run.
They didn’t always get the top player available, but they usually got one of the top, with one glaring exception.
It also turns out that the Warriors drafted better than every dynasty since the 1980s. The 1980s dynasties (Lakers, Celtics, Sixers) had great drafts, but mainly through high draft picks (#8 and better) that they got through trades from ripping off incompetent pre-modern NBA owners.
The 2022 Update
We are publishing this series of articles each week during the off-season. The first article will be the Kevon article linked below, next will be the Damian Jones article, and so forth. This index will be updated with live links as the articles are published. (Italics means the article isn’t published yet.)
1. What Better Draft Picks Were Available? (updated 2022)
The grades listed are from the narrow perspective of contributions to the Dynasty.
2015 Kevon Looney (Dynasty Pick Grade: A, revised from B in 2020)
2016 Damian Jones and Patrick McCaw (B- revised from C+ in 2020)
2019 Jordan Poole (A+)
2019 Eric Paschall and Alen Smailagic (C+ and F)
2020 James Wiseman, Nico Mannion, Justinian Jessup (F/INC, C and C)
2. What Breakout Prospects Did GSW Let Get Away?
3. How Well Did Other Dynasties Draft? (updated 2022)
LeBron-Love-Kyrie Cleveland Cavaliers (updated)
LeBron-Wade-Bosh Miami Heat (updated)
And versus the Rest
Shaq-Kobe and Kobe-Pau Lakers (updated)
Dynasty Spurs, the Raid Boss (updated)
Michael Jordan Bulls
Bad Boy Pistons
Julius Erving Sixers
Larry Bird Celtics
Magic Johnson Lakers
This kind of exercise can get very unrealistic (should we consider every human on the planet available to be drafted?), so I’m going to restrict our search to NBA players actually drafted in the draft after a Finals appearance. For this study, I’m not going to ding the Warriors for not drafting a player that the entire league passed on. Also, undrafted players sometimes have unannounced agreements with teams to sign as a free agent and they refuse to be drafted by anyone in the second round.
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