The Golden State Warriors have one eye on the future in the middle of a lost season. Which players on the roster have emerged as future contributors?
In the midst of a forgotten season, the Golden State Warriors are doing what they can to set themselves up for future success. And while it’s proven challenging, recent moves have seemingly done just that.
The trade-deadline deals the team made allowed them to refigure the roster to allow for a better overall fit. And in the process, they’ve been able to see which young players could have future roles on the team.
One player who has definitely stood out so far has been center Marquese Chriss. Chriss has managed to force his way on to the roster every step of the way and despite a major roster crunch, the Warriors have found a way to keep him.
First Chriss forced the team’s hand in the preseason beating out Alfonzo McKinnie for the final roster spot. And then with injuries to the Warriors’ big men, Chriss was given an increased role and he made the most of it.
His excellent play was enough to convince the team to keep him around and bring him back following a busy trade deadline. After trading away Wille Cauley-Stein, Chriss was given a starting job and he’s rewarded the Warriors by playing the best basketball of his brief career.
It’s a pretty safe bet that Chriss will be on the team is some fashion next season, it just remains to be seen whether the Warriors will count on him as a starter or not. This last stretch of the season will go a long way towards convincing the team he’s ready.
But aside from Chriss, the Warriors seem to have found a few cheap role players who could have a role on the team in the near future.
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Former two-way guard Damion Lee has carved out a nice role on the team in his first taste of extended action with the Warriors. The 27-year-old is averaging 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 27.9 minutes per game and was rewarded with a nice three-year extension back in January.
Then there’s second-round pick Eric Paschall who made quite the first impression establishing himself as one of the top steals of the entire 2019 NBA Draft. And even though he’s slowed down a little as of late, he still figures to be a key piece of the rotation going forward.
Those three seem to be locks for the Warriors’ rotation in the near future, but who else could play their way into a contributing role?
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First-round pick Jordan Poole has had his fair share of ups and downs in his rookie season, but the Michigan product has shown enough promise to warrant another look. These last couple of months will be crucial for him as he looks to find his role in the lineup.
The same goes for undrafted point guard Ky Bowman who made a name for himself earlier in the year and — much like Chriss — forced the Warriors hand to save him a roster spot.
However, since being recalled from the G-League, Bowman hasn’t looked like the same player. But he could feasibly lock down the backup point guard role if he performs well over the final few months of the season.
The Warriors don’t have much to look forward to over these last couple of months, but the continued development of their young players remains paramount.
This season may be lost, but the future is looking increasingly bright.