Warriors

Presented By WarriorsUltimate
Warriors

Editor’s note: Monte Poole, Logan Murdock, Drew Shiller and Grant Liffmann participated in NBC Sports Bay Area's inaugural Warriors Ultimate Draft. All four chose squads from a 25-man pool of legends from the last 30 years, plus five "classic" players from before 1990. Our team of experts will analyze the merits of each team until a winner is crowned.

While ranking the top 25 Warriors of the last 30 years for an Ultimate Draft, it didn’t take long to realize a few apologies would follow. There was considerable anguish over the final cuts.

Among the players whose exclusion should not diminish their significance: Harrison Barnes, Matt Barnes, Al Harrington, Rod Higgins, Tyrone Hill, Jarrett Jack, Marreese Speights and David West. All made notable contributions to teams that went to the playoffs or won championships.

But the draft pool was limited to 25. So, let the debates begin.

25) Erick Dampier

The 6-foot-11 center averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a Warrior. Neither explosive nor stout, Damp isn’t among the top 25 but made it because his final season (12.3 ppg, 53.5 FG pct., 12.0 rpg, 1.9 blocks) was as good as any center during this span.

24) Adonal Foyle

He had the misfortune of being the No. 8 overall pick in 1997, leaving Tracy McGrady to go ninth. Never a star, Foyle was a sturdy defensive force -- he’s the franchise career leader in blocks -- who as a bonus was an invaluable presence in the locker room.

23) Joe Smith

Selected first overall in 1995, the 6-foot-9 forward could score, rebound and defend. His 2.6 seasons as a Warrior were the best of his career. Falling under the guidance of Latrell Sprewell, Joe regressed in his third year and was traded and never reached his potential.

 

22) Sarunas Marciulionis

At 6-5, 220 pounds, with the feral ferocity of a Russell Westbrook, “Rooney” was a killer finishing the break or slamming his chiseled physique into the crowded paint. His star potential was hijacked by injuries and the bullying of coach Don Nelson.

21) Billy Owens

He was an uber-talented 6-9 athlete who was an average shooter but could pass like a great guard and rebound like a good power forward. His all-around game was ripe for triple-doubles, but Owens made a habit of dominating one night, disappearing the next.

20) Shaun Livingston

Coming in as a free agent in 2014, he became a valuable rotation player on fabulous teams. At 6-7, Livingston was a deadly scorer in the post or from midrange. He won three rings as the perfect third guard behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

19) Andris Biedrins

The 7-footer was 18 years old when he came to America and by age 22, looked as if he had a chance to approach All-Star status. He had very good hands and attacked the glass with alacrity. Injuries and lack of dedication robbed him of an impressive career.

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18) Stephen Jackson

Forever the soul of the “We Believe” team, Jackson was a good player with the swagger of a great. He talked trash, took and made big shots. His demolition of Dirk Nowitzki is the ’07 playoffs was a splendid example of getting inside the head of a star.

17) Andrew Bogut

His arrival via trade in 2012 was a signal that defense, long an area of negligence, was now a priority. A tremendous passer, he was a legit lob threat that was their best rim protector since Nate Thurmond. He also aided the development of Draymond Green.

16) David Lee

The first major acquisition authorized by the Lacob-Guber ownership, he was a double-double machine and, in 2013, the team’s first All-Star Game representative in 16 years. His role diminished after that season, but D-Lee was part of the franchise turnaround.

15) Antawn Jamison

In the wake of the Sprewell-Carlesimo fiasco, the franchise longed for high-character players capable of producing. The 6-9 forward delivered, averaging 20.2 points and 7.5 rebounds over five seasons, but wasn’t impactful enough to lead a renaissance.

14) Monta Ellis

Among second-round draft picks since 1990, only Draymond Green was more effective. An old-school 2-guard trapped in a point guard’s body, Monta used his quickness to become a terrific offensive force, averaging more than 20 points in five of seven seasons.

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13) Jason Richardson

He was strong enough to venture into the paint and finish but also added a decent 3-ball. At a time when the Warriors were winning nothing, he was victorious in back-to-back in Slam Dunk contests. That was enough to make him an all-time fan favorite.

12) Andre Iguodala

Defended four positions with conceivably the fastest hands in Warriors history. A facilitator on offense but also made his share of clutch shots. Meanwhile, he was a mature presence in the locker room who earned every bit of his Finals MVP award in 2015.

11) Gilbert Arenas

He was among the most exciting youngsters drafted by the Warriors during this period. He had a complete offensive arsenal, a fearless disposition and was beloved by the fan base. Departed after two seasons and became an All-Star with the Wizards.

Check back Tuesday for the top 10.