There is a stalker in all of us. People are curious to see former acquaintances and the web makes tracking easier. Like the babe in 10th grade biology class, most Warriors we’ve come to love (or loathe) have left our lives to work elsewhere in the continent. We won’t need a private investigator to check up on our past heartthrobs.
How are our old loves doing? They’ve seen better years. We will reacclimatize ourselves with former Warrior draft picks who have played since last season:
Jason Richardson – 5th overall (2001)
If the smell didn’t tip you off, Richardson’s gas tank is leaking. The high flying acrobatics of his youth have charged a steep toll to his legs (he has one dunk in 11 games). Lacking the explosiveness to regularly drive, Richardson has extensively relied on his jumper in recent years, where he has remained steady, landing 47.6% of his long 2’s and 44.4% of his 3’s in 2012, according to Basketball-Reference.com. His defense has been a liability and critics question if he starts for Philadelphia due to reputation, but Richardson is refusing to go quietly.
Troy Murphy – 14th overall (2001)
Mr. Double Double? The post pounding, board crashing Murphy is merely a memory. Erick Dampier’s and Adonal Foyle’s frontcourt running mate benefited from a move to Indiana, where he broke the franchise record for double doubles in season (48 in 2007-08). A 2010 trade to New Jersey and a trip to Coach Avery Johnson’s doghouse ended his days as a starter, and he has struggled to find a steady role while suiting up for the Celtics, Lakers and Mavericks. As of now, Murphy is a long distance specialist off the bench.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. – 3rd overall (2002)
Dunleavy Jr. lived up to his NBA roots more than Luke Walton, so be thankful for his enigmatic performances. Included in the January 2007 blockbuster deal that shipped Murphy out of town, the 6’9”, 230 pound sniper fulfilled his promise as a Pacer, recording a career-high 19.1 points per contest in 2007-08 with incredible efficiency. The following campaign, Dunleavy Jr. battled a career-threatening bone spur in his knee, but he survived to become the reliable sparkplug he is today. The Milwaukee Buck can no longer play shooting guard due to a lack of lateral movement, but the 32 year old still possesses great court vision, passing control and off-screen scoring ability.
Mickael Pietrus – 11th overall (2003)
One of the lesser successful French NBA imports, Pietrus still possesses extraterrestrial athleticism but fails to use it wisely. The first-good-look shooting attitude of Nellie Ball has remained ingrained in his brain, to the chagrin of wide open teammates in Orlando, Phoenix and Boston. Pietrus can still contribute to a contender with streaky 3 point shooting and tenacious perimeter defense, so expect the swingman to be signed this season.
Ike Diogu – 9th overall (2005)
Diogu was once compared to Elton Brand, but the bust closely resembles Melvin Ely. Along stops in Indiana, Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio, the undersized big was suppressed night-in and night-out by his competition. Despite redeeming play in the Summer Olympics, the Suns waived Diogu in the preseason, so his NBA days are possibly over.
Monta Ellis – 40th overall (2005)
Occasionally dominant shooting guards are a dime a dozen, so there is no need to miss him. For all of Klay Thompson’s struggles, Ellis has underwhelmed in 2012 with an exponentially higher salary, averaging 19.1 points on 40.6% accuracy, while posting an abysmal 19.1% success rate from 3 point range. The moped rider characteristically finds his scoring rythym through volume shooting, but with so many mouths to feed in Milwaukee, the 27 year old will need to tone down his shot selection. Considering his initial effectiveness as a 6th man in Golden State, Ellis may have found a permanent home.
Marco Belinelli – 18th overall (2007)
Heroic summer league performances aside, Belinelli has failed to prove in his 6 year NBA career that he is worthy of significant rotation time. Stints in Toronto and New Orleans furthered cemented his reputation as a mediocre spot up shooter. Without consistent shot creating ability and defensive instincts, Belinelli now finds himself logging 15 minutes a game for a points-starved Bulls club. It’s time to say farewell to the Italian.
Anthony Randolph – 14th overall (2008)
Randolph is currently riding the bench for the Denver Nuggets, who like his former employers, have failed to figure out a way to tap his oozing potential. The NBA’s biggest tease seems to have never recovered from his toxic relationship with Don Nelson, whose focus on the present left no time to develop his 6’11”, 225 pound forward. With two appearances in 12 contests, it may take an injury to open minutes for the skilled dribbler and shot blocker.
Ekpe Udoh – 6th overall (2010)
If you believe in conspiracies, now is the time to rename Milwaukee’s roster as “Golden State East.” Udoh has not statistically improved since his March trade deadline addition to the Bucks, and while his minutes still hover near 20 a game, the depth chart at the 4 and 5 are jammed with versatile bigs Coach Scott Skiles would prefer to play. Until Udoh can improve his shot selection, he will get the majority of his defensive highlights in practice.
Topics: Anthony Randolph, Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors, Ike Diogu, Indiana Pacers, Jason Richardson, Marco Belinelli, Mickael Pietrus, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis, NBA, Troy Murphy