Tom retweeted an interesting comment this morning about the difference between the now 15-7 Golden State Warriors and 7-14 Sacramento Kings.
RT @allbenjamens: interesting that the warriors picked AFTER the Kings in every draft the last 5 years but still have better talent— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) December 13, 2012
This really got me thinking. How did the Warriors get so much better than the Kings? Like Sacramento, Golden State has been in a rebuilding stage for most of the last five or so years. They of course had their magical playoff run in 2006-07, which coincidentally was the first year the Kings did not make the playoffs. Rebuilding for both the Kings and Warriors really started in earnest around the 2008-09 season.
First, let's take a look at the draft history of both teams during this time since it's what the original tweet that got me thinking was focusing on.
- Sacramento drafted Jason Thompson with the 12th pick, Sean Singletary with the 42nd pick and Patrick Ewing Jr. with the 43rd pick.
- Golden State drafted Anthony Randolph with the 14th pick and Richard Hendrix with the 49th pick.
- Sacramento clearly got the better deal here. Thompson is still with the Kings and has proven to be a capable big man in the NBA. Randolph meanwhile has bounced around the league multiple times already, already with his 4th team in 5 years.
- Sacramento drafted Tyreke Evans with the 4th pick, Omri Casspi with the 23rd pick and Jon Brockman with the 38th pick.
- Golden State drafted Stephen Curry with the 7th pick.
- While Evans won Rookie of the Year and Casspi and Brockman both looked like promising pieces their rookie year, it is Curry who has bloomed into a star. Casspi has gone from promising starter to disappointing role player, Brockman isn't with an NBA team, and Evans has yet to live up to the promise of his excellent rookie campaign. Curry's health has been shaky so far, but when he's on the court, he's a difference maker, and is currently playing at an All-Star level for the Warriors.
- Sacramento drafted DeMarcus Cousins with the 5th pick and Hassan Whiteside with the 33rd pick.
- Golden State drafted Ekpe Udoh with the 6th pick.
- The Kings win big here, not only because of who they took, but because of who the Warriors did not take. While Udoh has developed into a respectable role player, the Warriors missed out on grabbing guys like Greg Monroe, Gordon Hayward and Paul George, all taken within four picks after 6th. Cousins hasn't exactly been perfect for Sacramento, but he's definitely been good, and sometimes great (at least on the court).
- Sacramento drafted Jimmer Fredette with the 10th pick, Tyler Honeycutt with the 35th pick, and Isaiah Thomas with the 60th pick.
- Golden State drafted Klay Thompson with the 11th pick, Jeremy Tyler with the 39th pick and Charles Jenkins with the 44th pick.
- Another victory for Golden State. Klay Thompson is one of the league's better young Shooting Guards already in his second season. Meanwhile the Kings have only seen glimpses from Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas. Thomas excelled in his rookie season when given the reins to the offense but has seemingly regressed during his sophomore year, possibly due to both inconsistent playing time and a new offense. Jimmer Fredette has definitely improved, but he's nowhere near Thompson's level.
- Sacramento drafted Thomas Robinson with the 5th pick.
- Golden State drafted Harrison Barnes with the 7th pick, Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick, Draymond Green with the 35th pick and Ognjen Kuzmic with the 52nd pick.
- This is a bit early to tell, but right now it's looking to be in Golden State's favor. Barnes is starting for the Warriors at Small Forward and doing a decent, not great, job. Ezeli and Green are both rotation players. Robinson is a rotation player for the Kings, but struggles finishing around the basket and hasn't earned his coach's trust enough to start over Travis freaking Outlaw.
I'm not going to list every trade these two teams committed over the last few years, but here are the major ones
- Traded Ron Artest, Patrick Ewing and Sean Singletary to Houston for Donté Greene, Bobby Jackson and 2009 1st round pick (Omri Casspi)
- Traded Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago for Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons.
- Traded Kevin Martin and Sergio Rodriguez as part of a 3-team trade for Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and Larry Hughes.
- Traded Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni to Philadelphia for Samuel Dalembert.
- Traded Carl Landry to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton and cash.
- Traded Beno Udrih and the 7th pick in the 2011 draft as part of a 3-team trade for John Salmons and the 10th pick in the 2011 draft.
- Traded Omri Casspi and a future 1st round pick to Cleveland for J.J. Hickson
- Traded Al Harrington to New York for Jamal Crawford
- Traded Stephen Jackson and Acie Law to Charlotte for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic
- Traded Corey Maggette and a 2010 2nd round pick to Milwaukee for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric
- In a sign-and-trade, sent Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and a 2012 2nd round pick to New York for David Lee
- Traded Lou Amundson to Indiana for Brandon Rush
- Traded Kwame Brown, Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson
- Traded Stephen Jackson to San Antonio for T.J. Ford, Richard Jefferson and a future 1st round pick.
- Claimed Travis Outlaw off of amnesty waivers for 4 years, $12 million
- Signed Chuck Hayes to 4 year, $22.4 million deal
- Signed Aaron Brooks to 2 year, $6.6 million deal
- Signed Corey Maggette to 5 year, $48 million deal
- Signed Ronny Turiaf to 4 year, $17 million deal
- Signed Anthony Morrow to 2 year, $1.2 million deal
- Signed Dorell Wright to 3 year, $11.5 million deal
- Signed Lou Amundson to 2 year, $4.6 million deal
- Signed Carl Landry to 2 year, $8 million deal