What Is Nemanja Nedovic’s Future with the Golden State Warriors?

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When the Golden State Warriors drafted Nemanja Nedovic in 2013, many Warriors fans were unsure of who he was, but they were excited about the prospect of having the “European Derrick Rose” on the Warriors.

One season later, Warriors fans are still somewhat unsure of who Nedovic is and what his future is with the Warriors. After a disappointing rookie season and Summer League, it’s unclear how Nedovic will fit in with this Warriors team this upcoming season.

The Warriors have until October 31st to decide whether or not they want to pick up his third-year option ($1.15 million for the 2015-16 season). Ideally, the Warriors hope to make this decision before the start of the regular season on October 29th.

Nedovic is unsure on his future with the Warriors and if his option will be picked up, but he told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group that he believes that he will at least get a fair chance to prove himself during training camp.

"“Yeah, why not?” Nedovic said. “Coach said he’s going to play the guys that give the best results, so my job is to give my best, to contribute to the game. It’s the coach’s decision.”Nedovic said the front office hasn’t given him an indication on whether or not the third-year option of his contract will be picked up, adding that he wasn’t concerned about it."

New Warrior Shaun Livingston will be the primary backup point guard this season to Stephen Curry, but who will be the third point guard and who will earn backup point guard minutes as Livingston continues to recover from a toe injury?

Nedovic is the most likely candidate for this role, but the answer to that question was much more unsure earlier in the offseason, especially when the Warriors signed undrafted point guard Aaron Craft.

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Based on Craft’s success at Ohio State and with the Warriors’ Summer League team this summer, new head coach Steve Kerr was extremely excited about Craft’s game and what he could provide the Warriors with, a high basketball IQ and a winning mentality. Because of this, it appeared as if Nedovic and Craft would fight for third-string point guard minutes in training camp.

So which one will ultimately win the job?

As of now, it appears as if Nedovic has the edge. In the Warriors’ first preseason game on October 7th against the Los Angeles Clippers, Nedovic played 15 minutes (compared to Craft who didn’t play in the game) and finished with 12 points and three assists on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

In the Warriors’ second preseason game on October 9th against the Los Angeles Lakers, Nedovic played 15 minutes again but finished with just two points on 1-for-4 shooting. He did pick up three assists though. Craft also collected two points and one assist in six minutes.

After the Warriors’ first preseason game, Kerr spoke with Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle about Nedovic’s success in the first game and how he’s been doing in training camp so far.

"“That’s the best I’ve seen Nedo play,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s had a good camp. He had a really good first couple of days. The thing with Nedo is that he just needs to run the team. He doesn’t need to score, but we love the way he pushes the ball. He really attacked and put pressure on the defense.”"

Curry also shared his thoughts on Nedovic with Simmons:

"“He came in and was aggressive, and that was the biggest thing I would tell him last year,” Curry said. “He just needed to get comfortable on the floor and believe that he belongs out there. You can see that attitude now.”"

Nedovic has certainly shown improvement in training camp, which is impressive given the fact that he didn’t play in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer for Serbia. Nedovic wasn’t able to play because of a fractured bone in his right foot. Nedovic says he feels great right now and isn’t in any pain though.

Simmons shared more thoughts from both Kerr and Nedovic on his progress and role this upcoming season:

"Kerr said Nedovic had his best practice Wednesday. “Nedo is physically very gifted,” Kerr said. “He’s trying to kind of figure out who he is and what his role is.”Nedovic said: “I left last season in the past, because it was a very turbulent season. I think it’s all about how it starts, and last year, I didn’t play summer league or attend media day. I just want to leave the talking aside, go on the court and play and earn my minutes and make it into the rotation.”"

There’s still a lot to be sorted out, since there have only been two preseason games. Nedovic still has a lot to prove, but it would make more sense for the Warriors to have Nedovic be the primary backup point guard as Livingston recovers, since he has more NBA experience than Craft does.

What about after that though?

It’s hard to say right now whether or not Nedovic’s option for the 2015-16 season should be picked up, since he’s so unproven. Kerr should give him a good chunk of minutes in these next few preseason games though in order to decide.

Some may argue that he deserves the chance to prove himself and that the Warriors should invest in his future and pick up his option for the 2015-16 season. However, given Livingston’s three-year contract with the Warriors, it’s not likely that Nedovic will take over the backup point guard role in the next couple seasons.

So does it make sense to pick up his option and pay him $1.15 million next season to be the third point guard for the future?