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.

Having counted down from No. 25 to No. 11, quality players with special gifts, we now advance to the best of the best: The top 10 Warriors of the past 30 years.

We considered a variety of factors, foremost being sheer basketball brilliance. We took into account each player’s impact on the franchise and on the NBA, as well as his personal accolades and team accomplishments.

Each of these players is worthy of the Hall of Fame. Some will enter the moment they are eligible, while others will have to wait. One or two more will fall just short.

Here is our top 10. Let the debates rage:

10) Latrell Sprewell

So anonymous upon being drafted 24th overall in 1992 that the Warriors mispronounced his name, he arrived as a defender, evolved into a terrific scorer and became one of 12 Warriors selected to at least three All-Star Games.

After assaulting coach PJ Carlesimo in 1997, Spree was suspended and later traded. Troubled? Yes. Could he play? He is one of three marvelous two-way shooting guards to wear the jersey since 1990.

 

9) Mitch Richmond

Another fantastic two-way shooting guard, his defense was singled out as particularly challenging by none other than Michael Jordan. Yet Mitch averaged at least 21.9 points in his first 10 NBA seasons, including 22.7 in his first three (1988-91) as a Warrior.

He entered the Hall of Fame in 2014.

8) Tim Hardaway

The first player to popularize the crossover dribble, though his was called the “UTEP two-step” as a nod to his collegiate days. Utterly fearless, Timmy was a three-time All-Star and the trigger man of Run-TMC. He also was, of the trio, the best late-game closer.

Some believe he’d already be in the Hall if not for a hateful anti-gay statement made in 2007. He has since become a gay-rights activist.

7) Baron Davis

The franchise was wandering the NBA desert in 2005 when GM Chris Mullin made the kind of trade the Warriors never could, landing Davis. With unquestioned gifts, BD walked into the locker room with more credibility than anyone in more than a decade.

There is no “We Believe” without him, and his resounding dunk over Andrei Kirilenko in the ’07 playoffs remains the single most thrilling moment of the last 30 years.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

6) Draymond Green

Some ridicule his stats, no longer consider him a threat to score. We’re not writing him off. Moreover, we know what he has done and what he brings. Never overlook a second-round pick who evolves into a three-time champion and three-time All-Star.

The Warriors took off when Draymond moved into the starting lineup in 2014. His defensive aptitude allows him to wreck opposing offenses while his teammates freelance.

5) Chris Webber

Sure, his only full season was 1993-94, during which he was voted Rookie of the Year. He is at No. 5 because he had all the tools, from scoring and rebounding, to passing and blocking shots, more skills than any Warriors big man since Nate Thurmond in the 1970s.

C-Webb’s arrival heralded have annual trips to the playoffs, but coach Don Nelson mismanaged the big man of his dreams.

4) Klay Thompson

Among the best 3-point shooters in NBA history and undoubtedly the most valuable two-way guard in Warriors history, Klay’s presence -- and ability to effectively defend three positions -- unlocks Steph Curry to deliver the best of himself.

A five-time All-Star who takes over games with his shooting, Thompson is bound for the Hall.

[RELATED: Warriors Ultimate Draft: Which legends could play today?]

3) Chris Mullin

He was a member of the only original Dream Team. He was a five-time All-Star as a Warrior. He’s in the Hall of Fame. Mully was a poor on-ball defender but used his instincts to play the passing lanes well enough to be the franchise leader in career steals.

 

One of handful of players in NBA history with multiple seasons averaging more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. He’s the only player during this 30-year span with his jersey in the rafters.

2) Kevin Durant

A certified superstar before he arrived in July 2016, he was voted Finals MVP in the only back-to-back titles in franchise history. Among the most efficient scorers in NBA history, KD over three seasons averaged 25.8 points with a 58.3 effective field-goal percentage. He also averaged 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

Already a first-ballot Hall of Famer, his number will go up in the rafters at Chase Center.

1) Steph Curry 

No player drafted by the Warriors has had a greater impact on the franchise, the NBA and the game of basketball. He, more than anyone else, including co-chairmen Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, provided the civic momentum that led to Chase Center. Oh, the fruits of being a six-time All-Star with two MVP awards, one of them representing the only unanimous vote in league history.

Though some of the placements on this list will invite debate, there is no rational argument against putting Curry at No. 1.