Losing to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals last season can’t erase the legacy the Golden State Warriors brought to the industry. Today, in fact, we’re going to look at the Warriors best trades in Golden State history.
Nonetheless, making five consecutive trips to the finals and snatching three championship rings in just four seasons is simply a remarkable feat for an NBA team who struggled just to get into the playoffs a decade ago.
While our guys are regrouping, let’s take a trip down memory lane and check how the team slowly rose up the ranks.
Here are 5 of the Warriors’ best trades, ranked.
5 “We Believe Era” players in 2007
Warriors got: Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Josh Powe
Pacers got: Ike Diogu, Mike Dunleavy, Keith McLeod and Troy Murphy
For a trade, this definitely involved a lot of players. This massive overhaul sent a clear message to fans and the league: the Warriors were ready for a new era. The “We Believe” movement had its fair share of historic achievements as the 2006-2007 Warriors — led by Baron Davis, Chris Ellis, Jackson, and Harrington — went up against odds and upset the top-seeded Mavericks, In their first playoffs stint in years, Golden became the first eighth-seeded team to defeat the the top contender.
4 The pick for Draymond Green in 2011
Warriors got: Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round draft pick
Nets got: Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright
This trade was low-key from the get-go, but fast forward to draft season and the Warriors snagged spunky Michigan State Spartans forward Draymond Green 35th overall. Green would go on to be a crucial piece in the Superteam Warriors era (2014-2019). His punishing defense led him to the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017 with an average of 2.0 steals (league-leader), 6.6 defensive rebounds, and 10. 2 points. He’s now a three-time NBA Champion and All-Star.
3 The controversial Bogut-Ellis trade in 2012
Warriors got: Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson
Bucks got: Kwame Brown, Monta Ellis, and Ekpe Udoh
Now one might scratch their heads wondering why trading off the Warriors’ franchise player would be considered as great. But when a young Stephen Curry was drafted in 2009, his off-the-pass shooting didn’t go well with Ellis’ ball-dominant style. In one of the most heartbreaking trades in franchise history, Golden State sent fan favorite Monta Ellis to the Bucks. It was a move that irritated their fanbase.
Just this May, Ellis would reveal that he wasn’t informed of the trade right away and that he only learned about it in training. To add more salt to the wound, Ellis claimed that the management previously promised him that he would not be traded.
How exactly did the Warriors win this trade? With Ellis out, the young Curry was effectively given the leadership of the franchise. In the next season, the Splash Brothers were born. The dynamic and explosive Steph Curry-Klay Thompson duo shattered records from the beyond the arc. Curry set the all-time record for most three-point shots made in a single season in the 2012-13 season.
As for Bogut, he provided the young team the veteran experience and wisdom they needed. Before Iguodala’s trade in 2013, he became the defensive anchor of the franchise.
2 Baron Davis in 2005
Warriors got: Baron Davis
Hornets got: Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis
This is one of the best deals the Warriors got. Baron Davis went on to lead the “We Believe” era, which still stands as one of the best underdog NBA storylines of the decade. They defied all odds against the Mavericks, so they were almost universal fan favorites against the Utah Jazz in the 2007 Playoffs. While they lost the series, his dunk on Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko remains in the hearts of every die-hard Warriors fan.
1 Iguodala in 2013
Warriors got: Andre Iguodala
Nuggets got (from Warriors): Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, 2014 first-round draft pick, 2017 first-round draft pick, 2016 second-round draft pick, 2017 second-round draft pick
Jazz got (from Nuggets): 2018 second-round draft pick
The 2013 season was the “calm before the storm” for the Warriors. The moment before they went on to dominate the league for the next five years. As the Splash brothers shattered records from beyond the arc, we all knew something was brewing and that the once underdog franchise would become one of the toughest contenders in the league.
While Iguodala was already dealt to the Grizzlies last year and is now playing for Miami, he was still a force to be reckoned with for the past decade. In six seasons with the Warriors, he averaged 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. His heroic performance in the 2015 Finals against the Cavaliers led to Golden State’s first title in 40 years, earning him NBA Finals MVP in the process.