The Warriors had a hell of a three-game east coast road trip. It began with a blowout loss in Detroit, and wrapped up with a pair of nationally televised 30+ point demolitions of the Cavaliers and Bulls.
At 39-4, Golden State is a well oiled machine. The Warriors essentially beat opponents in three quarters, which allows them to manage the minutes of their stars. The 24-17 Bulls are struggling to find their way back to the two-seed in the east — and realistically have no chance of catching LeBron’s Cavs at the top.
With Derrick Rose a shell of himself, Chicago is desperately in need of finding a stud to pair with Jimmy Butler if it wants to even be mentioned in the same breath as Cleveland. The Bulls’ front office can make calls around the league for a player to acquire, but they’ll never find an opportunity like the one they squandered back in June of 2012.
The date was June 28th, 2012 at the NBA draft in Newark, New Jersey to be more specific. The Bulls held only one pick in the draft: No. 29 overall. Less than four years later, we can confidently say the pick changed the entire landscape of the league.
When it came time for Chicago to make its selection, there were only two prospects being considered — a speedy, crafty freshman point guard coming off a National Championship at Kentucky vs. an undersized combo forward that played all four years at Michigan State.
The Bulls went with the freshman PG. He had more upside than a four-year tweener. In plainer terms, Chicago picked Marquis Teague over Draymond Green.
Sure, teams blow draft picks all the time. But just think about how different the landscape of the league could be right now.
Would the Warriors simply be a middle of the pack team? Would Steph Curry be the MVP? Or even the dominant player he is today? Surely Golden State doesn’t have a ring, though.
Would Draymond be enough to help Rose, Butler and Pau Gasol win a ring? Would the Bulls be better than the Cavs? Would LeBron have won a third ring in 2015?
So many questions, so few answers!
I love discussing these “what if” scenarios, but this is a pretty wild one. This is definitely the biggest impact a potential late first-round (wound up being second-round) pick has had on the NBA in recent memory.
The Warriors were on the clock with the very next pick after the Bulls and obviously went on to select … Festus Ezeli! Luckily for GSW Green slid to No. 35, a pick they held from a trade with the Nets, and this time they made the pick that would change the franchise.
For the record, Teague spent two seasons with the Bulls before entering the D-League. He currently plays for the Oklahoma City Blue.
Don’t feel too bad for Bulls fans, though. Going with Teague over Draymond hurts, but your team is still competitive. The toughest draft picks to look back on in the 2012 draft belong to Brooklyn, hands down.
Brace yourself for horror, guys.
In February of 2011 the Nets traded away Troy Murphy and threw in their 2012 second-round pick for Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric. Then in March of 2012, the Nets were back at it, sending Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur and their 2012 first-round pick in return for Gerald Wallace.
The second-rounder was the No. 35 pick and the first-rounder turned into the No. 6 pick — now known as Draymond Green and Damian Lillard.
Anyone in Brooklyn cool with a Lillard/Green/Lopez core these days? No? Ok cool.
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