The Golden State Warriors are town, but they could easily be called the Golden State Could’ve Been Wizards, with the team featuring three starters and one reserve that Washington passed on to take alternate routes.
Stephen Curry will always be viewed as one that got away, since the Wizards elected to trade the fifth overall pick in 2009 to make an ill-fated deal for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, who were both gone after one of the more miserable seasons ever for the organization.
Curry admitted that the Wizards were on his radar before the draft, but he has clearly moved on. In his fourth season, Curry is averaging career highs with 19.6 points and 6.5 assists and shooting 43.7 percent from beyond the three-point line. He averages 21 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in five games against the Wizards.
“He’s playing at an elite level, and that can’t be debated,” Warriors Coach Mark Jackson said. “I’m ecstatic for him. The fact is he’s an incredible man, and he’s healthy for the first time in a long time.”
Two years later, the Wizards selected forward Jan Vesely with the sixth pick, four spots ahead of shooting guard Klay Thompson. Vesely is currently out of the rotation, while Thompson is averaging 15.8 points.
“They’ve got scorers. They can really shoot the perimter ball. There’s probably not a better backcourt shooting the ball than Curry and Thompson,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said.
Last summer, the Wizards considered Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal, but elected to go with Beal, believing he would be a better fit to play with John Wall. Beal actually has a higher scoring average than Barnes (10.9-9.6) and has a slightly better player efficiency rating (11.93-11.3), but Barnes is averaging more rebounds (4.7-3.5) and shooting a better percentage from the field (45-35).
The Wizards also selected Tomas Satoransky at No. 32 and stashed him in Europe, while the Warriors selected Draymond Green with the 35th pick. Green is averaging 2.4 points and 2.9 rebounds but recorded six points and 10 rebounds in Golden State’s win on Friday over Brooklyn.
“There’s no reason in the world he should have been sitting on the board at 35,” Jackson said.
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Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)