Warriors

Why Warriors' history with No. 2 draft pick bodes quite well

Warriors

The Warriors only have had the No. 2 overall pick one other time in franchise history, before Thursday night's NBA Draft Lottery revealed Golden State would be the second team on the clock for October's event.

But the Warriors certainly knocked it out of the park with that lone opportunity to pick second. Rick Barry, who helped the franchise win an NBA championship in 1975 and eventually was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, was the name called at that spot in the 1965 draft.

It wasn't exactly a parallel situation, as the Warriors also owned the No. 1 overall pick in that draft, and three players were off the board before it began, as the NBA was in its final season of allowing territorial draft picks. NBA teams could surrender their first-round selection and take a player within 50 miles of the organization's home arena.

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So with Gail Goodrich (Los Angeles Lakers), Bill Buntin (Detroit Pistons) and Bill Bradley (New York Knicks) off the board to start, the Warriors grabbed Davidson forward Fred Hetzel at No. 1 and selected Barry at No. 2.

Barry went on to win Rookie of the Year with the Warriors in his debut season and played 10 seasons for the club over two stints. He is an eight-time All-Star and was the 1975 NBA Finals MVP, as the Warriors vanquished the Washington Bullets in a four-game sweep.

In 2020, the Warriors will have just about every player in the class available at the No. 2 spot. NBC Sports California's James Ham has the Warriors taking Dayton product Obi Toppin at No. 2 in his latest mock draft, a versatile forward that likely could play either the three or four at the NBA level.

 

The Warriors also could trade the pick, but no matter who ends up hearing their name called second in October's draft, they'll have a lot to live up to if they want to be compared to a legend like Barry.