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Garry St. Jean was next to take the position of Warriors GM. Hired July 12, 1997, the Saint held the job through six NBA drafts. I think this image sums him up nicely.
St. Jean had three selections in the top five, and five in the top 11 from 1997-2003. With those picks, he netted precisely zero All-Stars for the Warriors. Gilbert Arenas doesn’t count. He was an All-Star for the Wizards after the Warriors failed to re-sign him in 2003.
Drafts during St. Jean’s tenure were marked by swings and misses on wing players from big programs. In 1998, the Warriors took North Carolina’s Vince Carter with the fifth pick, but promptly traded him for his college teammate, Antawn Jamison.
In 2001, St. Jean had his best year. He selected Michigan State’s Jason Richardson fifth, Notre Dame’s Troy Murphy eleventh, and Arizona’s Gilbert Arenas in the second round. All proved to be solid players, but none were true difference-makers for the Warriors.
In 2003, the Warriors took Duke’s Mike Dunleavy No. 3 overall, passing on Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler and Tayshaun Prince.
Who fits the bill for St. Jean’s selection in this year’s draft? We know the player must be from a college program with some serious tradition. We also know he can be pretty good, but certainly not a star.
Enter Harrison Barnes.
The North Carolina product is a perfect St. Jean pick. He comes from the biggest college program around. He’s fundamentally sound and highly skilled. But he’s passive and can’t create his own shot. He should be a very good NBA player, but not an All-Star, and not one capable of taking the Warriors to the next level.