Mistakes happen. We sleep in a little too late or we forget to do a project. But for us, mistakes are simply, just that – mistakes. For the thirty NBA teams, mistakes cost them, potentially, tens of millions of dollars, a playoff appearance, or even a championship. They have been riddled throughout history. It can be draft picks (Blazer fans know what this is like), it can be free agency (can I get an amen from Knicks fans?), or it can be virtually anything else (in the case of the King’s, EVERYTHING ELSE). Thus, we present the worst mistakes from each NBA team over the past ten years.
The Golden State Warriors Biggest Mistake in the Past Ten Years
For the Warriors, lately you just hear about how great they currently are. They have the splash brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Draymond Green has been a walking double-double for the team and is the energizer on the defensive end. This past season, they broke the Chicago Bulls record of 72-10 and went 73-9. But, they lost the NBA Championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, preparing for the 2016-2017 season, they add former MVP Kevin Durant to their already-loaded squad.
But before they became one of the best teams in NBA history, they made a few mistakes. From around 2004-2007, they began rebuilding and some of their draftees were mistakes.
The 2006 NBA Draft
In 2006, they drafted Patrick O’Bryant with the ninth overall pick. Playing two years at Bradley University, he reached the NCAA Sweet 16 the same year he declared for the draft. He averaged 11.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg over those two seasons. From 2006-2008, he played only 40 games as a Warrior before they declined to pick up his third year option. He was ultimately sent down to the D-League. He signed with the Boston Celtics soon after.
Consequences and Possible Alternatives
Still left on the draft board were quite a few talented players. With the 11th pick, the Orlando Magic took J.J. Redick. He was a two-time ACC Player of the Year, National College Player of the Year, and a two-time ACC tournament MVP at Duke. He is the all-time leading scorer at Duke and his number was retired in 2007. In the NBA he has played for the Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, and now the Los Angeles Clippers. He has reached the playoffs every season that he has been in the NBA.
Rajon Rondo was also still on the board when they picked O’Bryant ninth. He did not go until the 21st pick overall. Rondo, now with the Chicago Bulls, has been an All-Star four times. In 2008, he won the NBA Championship as a member of the Boston Celtics. In 2012, 2013, and 2016, he lead the NBA in assists. Over his career he has also led the league in steals and has been on the All-Defensive team twice.
Kyle Lowry, who just won a gold medal with the United States Men’s National team, was still on the board as well. He went 24th overall. Lowry, now with the Toronto Raptors, has been a NBA All-Star twice. He helped lead the Raptors to their first ever Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Cavaliers this past season. He is now the Raptors all-time leader in triple-doubles with five.
Looking into the second round, Paul Millsap was selected 47th overall. Millsap has been an All-Star since 2014. In college, he played for Louisiana Tech, where he led the NCAA in rebounds from 2004-2006. He has averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg for his career. He currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks after playing for the Utah Jazz from 2006-2013. He has been on seven playoff teams.
There’s not many drafts where a team selects a “dud” over four future NBA All-Stars. Tut in 2006, the Warriors proved that they could. Forgetting this draft may have became easy to do now. But for a while, it really stung.