Golden State Warriors: What to expect from Omari Spellman

Golden State Warriors (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors have officially acquired 2018 first-round pick Omari Spellman from the Atlanta Hawks. Here’s what we can expect to see out of the talented big man.

The Golden State Warriors have seemingly finalized their roster after a couple of moves on Monday. One of those moves saw the team deal 2016 first-round pick Damian Jones to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for big man Omari Spellman and a second-round pick.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the Warriors decided to move Jones this offseason. After being selected 30th overall back in 2016, Jones has done little of note in his NBA career.

And after a slow start in the summer league this year, Golden State opted to simply move on rather than continue to hold out hope.

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A similar sentiment appears to have been shared by the Hawks who opted to trade Spellman away just one year after being selected with the 30th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Spellman struggled to gain traction during his rookie season dealing with injuries and expected rookie issues. However, the decision to move on so quickly does come as a bit of a surprise.

The Villanova product is a promising big man who stands at 6-foot-9 and plays primarily the power forward position, but has occasionally played some center. He’s been a solid rebounder and shot-blocker throughout his college career but his outside shooting ability is what intrigued the Hawks the most.

Unfortunately, Spellman struggled to stay fit during his rookie season with his weight ballooning up to a whopping 293 pounds at a point. He was blunt when discussing his weight issues with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating the following.

"“Pretty much, I was fat. I had to lose weight. That’s what allowed me to get back. That’s why I have been working as hard as I have and that’s why I haven’t been playing. Just to get me back right. Coming down and losing the weight that I have lost and being able to compete at the level I have been able off the court, helped me go out and compete tonight.”"

Spellman’s added weight likely contributed to his sporadic playing time and could have very well played a factor in the multiple injuries that he suffered including to his ankle.

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However, there’s reason to like his upside if he could stay healthy and get in shape.

Spellman has been effective when paired with playmakers who could create open looks. On top of that, his energy and effort help him pick up second-chance points as he crashes the offensive glass.

As a pure scheme fit, Spellman likely fits in much better with the Warriors than he did with the Hawks.

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Atlanta struggled to create space on the floor last season and lacked the playmaking ability to get Spellman his open looks. Not surprisingly, Spellman played his best basketball later in the season (36.4% from three-point range as compared to just 31.7%  earlier in the year) when fellow rookie Trae Young was playing at his best.

Young was able to drive and create open looks for Spellman — something he could see a lot more of with Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell manning the Warriors’ backcourt.

Spellman will fight for minutes in the rotation behind Draymond Green — likely competing with former Villanova teammate, rookie Eric Paschall. Kevon Looney could also still be in the mix but expect him to play more at center as he did last season.

At just 21-years-old, there’s still loads of potential upside to see in the young Spellman. Given that Jones was expected to be buried on the depth chart behind Looney and the newly-signed Willie Cauley-Stein, this is a swap that makes a ton of sense.

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Here’s to hoping that the Warriors could uncover some of Spellman’s untapped potential and get the most out of him.