Saturday, May 31, 2008

Worst Warriors Pick #5 Joe Smith

Believe it or not there was a time when the Warriors striked gold and they won the lottery as was the case in 1995. This was a draft that was rich in talent see K.G but unfortuntaely like a broken record another draft day selection was made and the fanbase was forced to suffer the consequences for 12 years. Even though this selection has at least carved out a career(Now with the Cleveland cavaliers) he is a serviceable, yet unspectacular power forward

Unfortunately for Smith his most memorable moment was off the court where he signed an illegal contract that broke the league's salary cap rules even though the Timberwolves were just at fault for believing the guy was worth 86 million. It cost Minnesota a 1st round draft pick for each of the 5 years But aside from the incident, Smith never did live up to the expectations of a #1 draft pick. He peaked in his second season (18.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG) and never came close to numbers like these after being shipped off to Philly at the trade deadline the following year then being shipped off to the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and now Cleveland. The ultimate journeyman.

Just for the record let's look at who the Warriors passed up:

#2 Antonio McDyess
Before the unfortunate injuries McDyess was an EXPLOSIVE near elite power forward. Let's just say having McDyess wouldn't have been all that bad.

#3 Jerry Stackhouse
A solid 20ppg scorer.

#4 Rasheed Wallace
You probably remember this guy from the Pistons finals... he's good AND crazy.

#5 Kevin Garnett
10 years later passing KG for Joe Smith is embarrassing, but let's cut the Warriors a little break here. In 1995 KG was the first high schooler to come straight to the league since Moses Malone, so NBA GM's were treading unfamiliar territory. At this point it was pretty much unheard of to go the high school route. Many people forget that Joe Smith was actually less than a year older than KG. So who would you take? The young guy who tore it up against other high schoolers or the young guy who had a great season against college hoopsters? Okay, enough with the excuses-- can you imagine what the past 10 years as a Warriors fan would be like with KG?

#7 Damon Stoudamire
He's no superstar, but he was a backup PG for the Spurs this past year. Can you believe he took the Rookie of the Year honors for the 1995 class?

#9 Ed O'Bannon
Okay, just joking. Ordinary Joe definitely had a more "illustrious career."

#10 Kurt Thomas
The man's solid and smart plus he was a servicable backup Forward for the Spurs this season.

#13 Corliss Williamson
If only Joe Smith had a little "Big Nasty" in him.

#15 Brent Barry
I'm actually a little surprised the Warriors didn't go after this Slam Dunk Champion/ 3 Point Shootout Champ. They could have gone back to their Barry roots. You know looking back it's a little strange the Warriors didn't take him #1 overall. He's Mike Dunleavy on steroids. Okay, that's probably not strong enough- Brent Barry has been a solid pro, while Dunleavy has well... done-nuthin.

#18 Theo Ratliff
Shot blocking MACHINE! A great defensive player and a very limited offensive one.

#21 Michael Finley
A pretty nice All Star SG for most of the past 10 years.

#28 Greg Ostertag
Okay, maybe I'm pushing it on this one, but you could make an argument he's had a better NBA career than Joe Smith.

#43 Eric Snow
A pretty solid passing and great defending PG. Most guys don't mind having someone like Snow on their team.

So the big question remains- why didn't Joe Smith develop into a good NBA player? Why did he turn out to be "Just an Ordinary Joe"? He was a young (just a little bit older than KG), athletic player. At the top pick people were debating between Joe Smith, Stack, and Rasheed so it's not like Joe Smith was a ridiculous pick. Coaching? Did Joe just not have the desire? Bad losing atmosphere? The Warriors world will never know.

Worst Warriors Draft pick #1 Chris washburn
Worst Warriors draft pick #2 Todd fuller
Worst Warriors draft pick #3 Carlos Rogers
Worst Warriors Draft pick #4 Adonal Foyle.

Honourable Mentions
Billy owens
Steve Logan
Mike Dunleavy
Russell Cross
Joe Barry Caroll

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