2009–present: The Stephen Curry era
On May 12, 2009, the Golden State Warriors decided not to renew the contract of General Manager Chris Mullin. Larry Riley took over as General Manager and drafted Stephen Curry with the 7th overall pick. In the 2009 offseason, the Warriors traded Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton. Marco Belinelli was also traded during the offseason to the Toronto Raptors for Devean George. On August 31, 2009, the Warriors signed former Boston Celtics forward/center Mikki Moore. On November 16, 2009, Stephen Jackson and Acie Law were traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. Four days later they signed center Chris Hunter.
On January 8, 2010, the Warriors waived Mikki Moore. During the month of January 2010, they signed two forwards to 10-day contracts which included, Cartier Martin from the Iowa Energy, Anthony Tolliver from the Idaho Stampede, and guard Coby Karl. On February 7, Speedy Claxton was waived and the Warriors signed Tolliver for the rest of the year. The Warriors were granted another injury exception and signed Reggie Williams from the Sioux Skyforce to a 10-day contract on March 2, 2010, making it their fifth D-League call up this year, tying an NBA record. Ten days later, they signed Williams to another 10-day contract. The Warriors eventually waived guard Raja Bell in order to sign Williams for the rest of the year. After signing Williams, it was announced that the Golden State Warriors franchise would be on sale.
The Warriors finished the season 26–56, fourth in the Pacific Division.
The Warriors opening the 2011–12 season
On June 24, 2010, the Warriors selected Ekpe Udoh with the 6th overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft. They also introduced a modernized version of their "The City" logo depicting the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and switched to a simplified color scheme of royal blue and gold. They also introduced new uniforms reminiscent of the 1969–71 "The City" uniforms. The Warriors made an offseason trade that sent Turiaf, Randolph and Azubuike to the New York Knicks in return for star high-scoring power forward David Lee via a sign-and-trade. Lee agreed to a six-year, $80 million deal. Following Morrow's departure after he signed the New Jersey Nets' offer sheet, the Warriors signed Dorell Wright to a three-year, $11 million deal.
On July 15, owner Chris Cohan sold the Warriors to Peter Guber of Mandalay Entertainment and his partner Joe Lacob for a then-record $450 million.
The Warriors continued their signing spree by adding Harvard guard Jeremy Lin to their roster with a one-year partially guaranteed contract containing a second-year team option, the first Taiwanese-American player in NBA history. Louis Amundson was then added for little under $5 million in mid-September. Keith Smart was hired as head coach that same month after Nelson had resigned before the start of training camp.
In February 2011, the Warriors traded Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric for Troy Murphy and a 2011 second-round pick. On February 27, Murphy and the Warriors reached a buyout agreement and he was waived.
During a steady season without making any real ground in the playoff race, the Warriors broke franchise records with 21 made 3's in a win against the Orlando Magic. In April 2011, Dorell Wright made a franchise record of 184 3's in a season in a home win versus Los Angeles Lakers, surpassing Richardson's 183 in 2005–06. He then broke another NBA record, as the first player to have scored more points in his seventh season than in all his first six seasons combined in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers. He ended the season with the most three-pointers made in the NBA that season with 194, as well as the most 3s attempted with 516, both of which set new Warrior franchise records.
The Warriors failed to make the playoffs after a 36-win season in 2010–11, and coach Smart was dismissed on April 27 due to the change in ownership. 17-year NBA veteran and former ABC and ESPN commentator Mark Jackson replaced him as head coach on June 6. On December 19, they traded Amundson to the Indiana Pacers for small forward Brandon Rush.
2011–2014: Mark Jackson era
The Warriors did not improve in the 2011–12 season under coach Jackson, finishing the lockout-shorted season with a 23–43 record, 13th in the conference. The team suffered several injuries to key players, and due to the lockout, Jackson could not establish his system in training camp. They then entered into another chaotic rebuilding phase.
Team leader Monta Ellis was traded in mid-March 2012, along with Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh, to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut (out injured for the season) and former Warrior small forward Stephen Jackson, who without playing a game for the Warriors, was quickly traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a conditional first-round pick on March 15. These moves saw the rise of Stephen Curry and David Lee to team co-captains, and saw off-guard Klay Thompson, the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, move into a starting role. On July 11, they acquired point guard Jarrett Jack from the New Orleans Hornets in a three-team trade also including the Philadelphia 76ers, who received Dorell Wright from Golden State. On August 1, they signed forward Carl Landry on the termination of his one-year contract with the Hornets. In the 2012 NBA draft, they selected small forward Harrison Barnes with the 7th overall pick, center Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick, small forward Draymond Green 35th overall, and 7-foot 1-inch center Ognjen Kuzmic 52nd overall. In early November, swingman Rush was lost for the year with a torn ACL after falling awkwardly on the court early in the second game of the season, and less than a month later, the team announced that Bogut was out indefinitely with a foot injury that was more serious than originally reported. Bogut did not return to regular play until late in the season.
Coming out of this maelstrom of trades and injuries with a team starting two rookies (Barnes and Ezeli) in the 2012–13 season, the Warriors had one of their best starts in decades, earning their 20th win before hitting the 30-game mark for the first time since 1992. The Warriors also achieved a milestone by completing their first ever 6–1 road trip in franchise history, including a 97–95 win over the defending champion Heat in Miami. On April 9, 2013, with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors clinched the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and the first time since the 2006–07 "We Believe" Warriors. This time, the local battlecry was "We Belong".
The team finished the 2012–13 season with a record of 47–35, earning the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs by winning four out of six games. They lost in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs, four games to two. This was the first playoff experience for all of the starters of this group except for Andrew Bogut.
Other highlights of the season included Stephen Curry's 272 three-point baskets to set an NBA single-season record, giving him the nickname "baby-faced assassin", and the naming of forward David Lee to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve, ending the team's 16-year drought without an All Star selection, dating back to Latrell Sprewell in the 1997 season. Curry and Klay Thompson, dubbed the "Splash Brothers" by team employee Brian Witt for their backcourt shooting prowess, combined for 483 three-pointers during the season, easily besting the prior record of 435 set by the Orlando Magic's Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott in 1995–96.
With their lone selection in the 2013 NBA draft, the Warriors made 22-year-old Serbian combo-guard Nemanja Nedovic the 30th and final pick of the first round. In early July 2013, Golden State signed former Denver Nuggets swingman and free agent Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million deal. To make room under their salary cap, the Warriors traded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush, along with multiple draft picks, including their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks, to the Utah Jazz. The Warriors lost free-agent guard Jarrett Jack, who departed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and free agent power forward Carl Landry, who went to the Sacramento Kings. To help fill the void left by Landry, the Warriors signed forward-center Marreese Speights to a three-year, $10 million contract. The team also signed one-year deals with veteran center Jermaine O'Neal ($2 million) and point guard Toney Douglas ($1.6 million). On August 21, the Warriors signed 7'1" Serbian center Ognjen Kuzmic, who had been playing in Europe since his selection in the 2012 NBA draft, to a guaranteed two-year deal.
The Warriors began the 2013–14 season showing flashes of brilliance and also plenty of lapses. In early December their record was 12–9, as compared to 17–4 the year before. One challenging factor was a tough starting schedule that saw them play 14 of their first 22 games on the road, including 10 games against teams holding playoff spots in the standings. A stream of injuries also held the team back, including injuries to Festus Ezeli (off-season surgery to repair the right knee, out for the season), Toney Douglas (left tibia stress reaction, out nearly a month from mid-November to December), and Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist injury and surgery, out from mid-November to early February). Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes were also out for at least four games before the all-star break, each with minor injuries. Most prominently of all, Iguodala suffered a hamstring pull in late November that kept him out for over a month, during which time the Warriors' performance suffered significantly on both the defensive and offensive ends of the court, and the team posted a losing 5–7 record while revealing a lack of depth on their bench. With Iguodala back in the lineup, the Warriors went on a 10-game winning streak, which included six consecutive wins on a single road trip, tying an NBA record. The winning streak was the longest for the franchise since the 1975 championship year, and just one short of the team record of 11 consecutive wins, set in the 1971–72 season.
To strengthen their underperforming bench, the Warriors made a three-team trade on January 15, sending Douglas to the Miami Heat and picking up guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics and then, a day before the trade deadline, trading Kent Bazemore and Brooks to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran point guard Steve Blake. Thanks in part to the improved effectiveness of their backup squad, boosted by the additions of Blake and Crawford and the play of 35-year-old Jermaine O'Neal (who returned sooner than expected from wrist surgery), the Warriors were one of the winningest teams in the NBA after the all-star break. Nonetheless, and despite several victories over top contenders, the team displayed a pattern of losing games to inferior teams even at their home arena. On April 11, in a 112–95 stomping of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center, the Warriors clinched a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991 and 1992. However, just one day earlier in a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, Andrew Bogut suffered a cracked rib that would keep him out of the post-season, a big blow to the sixth-seed Warriors' playoff hopes.
The Warriors ended the 2013–14 season 51–31, winning more than 50 games for only the fourth time in franchise history, finishing 20 games over .500 for the first time in 22 years, and tying the 1991–92 squad for the franchise's all-time mark of 24 wins on the road. Even without Bogut, in the first round of the playoffs the Warriors battled the third-seed Los Angeles Clippers to a seventh and deciding game, which the Warriors lost, bringing their 2013–14 season to an end. It was season of many thrilling moments in which the Warriors' played in 17 regular-season games decided by 2 points or less, 6 games with winning shots in the final 3 seconds, and 7 comeback wins in which the Warriors had been behind by 15 points or more.
In other noteworthy occurrences for the season, Curry was named to the starting lineup for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. For Curry, the only Warrior named to the team, this was his first all-star appearance in five seasons as an NBA player. Curry hit another notable milestone in posting 4 triple-doubles for the season, tying a franchise record unequaled since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963–64. Curry also averaged career-bests in points and assists; averaging 24.0 points and 8.5 assists in the season. Curry and Klay Thompson continued to set league records in three-point shooting. On February 7, in a 102–87 win over the Chicago Bulls, the backcourt duo became the first teammates to each make a three-pointer in 30 consecutive games. Curry, who finished the season with 261 threes, set an individual record for most three-pointers in a span of two seasons with 533, surpassing the previous mark of 478 set by Seattle Supersonic Ray Allen in 2004–05 and 2005–06. Together, Thompson and Curry combined for 484 threes on the year, besting by one the NBA record they had set the year before.