Warriors Ultimate Draft: Four experts argue why their team is best

NBC Sports Bay Area staff
NBC Sports BayArea

Editor's note: Monte Poole, Logan Murdock, Drew Shiller and Grant Liffmann participated in NBC Sports Bay Area's inaugural Warriors Ultimate Draft. All four chose squads from a 25-man pool of legends from the last 30 years, plus five "classic" players from before 1990. Our team of experts will analyze the merits of each team until a winner is crowned.

Our four-man panel of experts have picked their teams for the Warriors Ultimate Draft. We've ranked players from 25 down to No. 1, and explained why Klay Thompson is just outside of the top three

So, whose team is best? If you ask any of Grant Liffmann, Drew Shiller, Logan Murdock or Monte Poole, their team should be crowned champions. 

Here's how each argued for their squad.


1. Steph Curry
2. Klay Thompson
3. Draymond Green
4. Andrew Bogut
5. Jason Richardson
6. David Lee

Explaining why my team will win does not require too much creativity on my part. They already have proven it in real life, three times to be exact. I do not need to create a hypothetical style of play or envision what the locker room and chemistry will be like. Those factors already have been determined in reality, and it is/was a beautiful sight to see. 
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green own three NBA titles. Andrew Bogut and David Lee were part of the first championship run, but also significant parts of the teams that built the foundation for the dynasty. The defense of Thompson, Green and Bogut, as seen before, will be elite in the starting unit, and a prime Lee will be a double-double machine off the bench.
Jason Richardson will play the part of Harrison Barnes/Andrew Wiggins, and he should be exceptional in that role. In his best years, J-Rich was a high flying, electric athlete that developed into a proficient 3-point floor spacer. His on ball defense also was underrated and should be improved even more playing with this superb team around him. 
This squad is a perennial winner. In real life. No reason it would not carry on to the hypothetical world as well.


1. Kevin Durant
2. Chris Webber
3. Mitch Richmond
4. Stephen Jackson
5. Antawn Jamison
6. Joe Smith

Any lineup that features Kevin Durant, Chris Webber, Mitch Richmond, Stephen Jackson and Antawn Jamison will cause trouble for any team in its way. But put simply: This is the best team in the pool. 
The goal of my draft was to put multi-skilled two-way players alongside the Hall of Fame exploits of Durant. Some eyebrows raised when I picked Webber when Klay Thompson still was on the board, and that's fine. But a passing big who can score 20 points in his sleep is vital in the modern NBA. 
Captain Jack and Mitch Richmond provide shooting on the perimeter while Jamison's slithery game will cause mismatches for any opponent. And with Joe Smith coming off the bench, I don't see anyone beating this team in a seven-game series. 
Drew can fantasize about a game at the Cow Palace with no 3-point lines but in reality, Wilt is going to have guard KD beyond the 3-point line and I'm not too sure that's going to work out in The Big Dipper's favor. I'm also not sure Monte's locker room will help his chances. 
One team that might give me trouble is Grant's, who acquired both Splash Brothers and Draymond Green. However, I'm confident our versatility and small ball can play Bogut and D-Lee off the floor. 
Team Gold wins it all in 5. 

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]


1. Rick Barry
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Tim Hardaway
4. Andre Iguodala
5. Monta Ellis
6. Shaun Livingston

I contemplated taking Draymond or Klay at No. 3 overall, but didn't want to be accused of recency bias. So I honored the old guard and chose Barry -- the 1975 NBA Finals MVP -- with my first pick. When Wilt shockingly was available at No. 6 overall, it was a no-brainer.

Getting a terrific point guard in Hardaway at No. 11 overall was key, because you need a legit point guard in any era. And landing Iguodala with my fourth pick was paramount because it's imperative to have a lockdown wing defender.

Monta was great value at No. 19 overall, and I couldn't have been happier to nab Livingston with my final selection.

Yes, it's clear that my team isn't built for the modern 3-point era. But that's OK. Because these hypothetical matchups are going to take place without a 3-point line, so this unit will dominate.

It probably makes most sense to start Livingston and have Monta be the instant offense off the bench. I love this team's versatility, and we're going to get layups and/or great looks in the paint all day long.

There's no reason to be concerned about Wilt defending out on the perimeter because the 3-point shot does not exist.

We are going to slow the tempo down and control the game in the halfcourt.

The trophy is mine.

[RELATED: Warriors Ultimate Draft: Barnes, Floyd among biggest snubs]


1. Chris Mullin
2. Baron Davis
3. Latrell Sprewell
4. Nate Thurmond
5. Gilbert Arenas
6. Billy Owens

When I took Baron Davis in the second round of our Ultimate Warriors Draft, the move shocked my fellow general managers. Not because Davis isn't a wonderful player, but because Wilt Chamberlain was still on the board.

I was aware of that, but my goal was to build a squad capable of contending in today's NBA. The priorities were shooters with 3-point range, at least one superb perimeter defender and a big man with a decent jump shot but also the tools to protect the rim.

My draft strategy centered on the belief that Nate Thurmond in the third or fourth round was a better value pick than Wilt in the first or second.

Despite the ridicule I absorbed, I like my team: A three-guard rotation with Latrell Sprewell, Gilbert Arenas and Davis; a classic wing in Chris Mullin; a versatile power forward, Billy Owens, capable of playing at least three positions; and Big Nate, a Hall of Famer, in the middle.

Baron runs the show, with lockdown defender Spree at his side. I see Gilbert, The Hibachi, as the best bench scorer in the league. All three guards can shoot the 3-ball -- but not as well as Mully, whose off-ball movement would lead to open looks from deep.

Owens is my jack of all trades, scoring 25 points in one game, grabbing 15 rebounds the next game and following that with a 17-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist performance.

Though Nate had a solid J -- he averaged double figures for 10 consecutive seasons, including five with more than 20 points per game -- his primary role would similar to that of protecting the paint, much like Utah's Rudy Gobert.

Let's go!

Warriors Ultimate Draft: Four experts argue why their team is best originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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