Warriors see Marquese Chriss as a ‘franchise building block’

Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors reportedly see Marquese Chriss as a long-term solution

The Golden State Warriors didn’t have many things go right for the team during the 2019-20 season. And now that it’s, for all intents and purposes, over, it certainly won’t be a year that fans look back on fondly.

Especially given the five-year run that proceeded it.

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From countless injuries to overwhelming disappointment, there aren’t very many positive takeaways from what was the Warriors’ worst campaign since the turn of the century.

That said, the numerous injuries allowed opportunities to players who would have never seen the time of day otherwise. And one player who absolutely made the most of his opportunity was center Marquese Chriss.

Chriss was signed by the Warriors just prior to the start of the season after bouncing around the NBA over the past few seasons. A former top-10 draft pick, Chriss had underwhelmed in his first three NBA seasons playing for three different teams over that time.

It seemed as though his chance at carving out a productive NBA career was nearly gone. But the Sacramento native managed to impress his new coaching staff enough to earn him a spot on the final roster despite his non-guaranteed contract.

And from there, Chriss only continued to shine as he went on to start 21 of 59 games played putting together his most productive NBA season to date. Chriss averaged a career-high 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds while playing in just over 20.0 minutes per game.

And at just 22-years-old, the Warriors are still understandably high on his future potential despite a rough first few seasons in the league. But just how high are they on the former Sacramento Kings draft bust?

Well, a recent report from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle seems to insist that see him as a long-term big man on the roster.

"“Golden State views Chriss as a potential franchise building block, whose knack for rim-running, passing and interior defense makes him an ideal fit in its system. The front office is so optimistic about his future, according to multiple sources, that it would be comfortable entering next season with him as the starting center. This makes the Warriors less apt to use an early pick on Wiseman — or any other big man, for that matter — than some pundits might assume.”"

There’s a lot to unpack there and the potential fallout is extensive. But essentially, the Warriors like Chriss so much that they’re not only willing to go into next season with him as their starting center, but they view him as a “potential franchise building block.”

Given that he’s a player who was playing on a non-guaranteed training camp contract less than a year ago, those are some pretty strong words.

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Chriss undoubtedly made the most of his opportunity this past season flashing his athletic potential in the process. Along the way, he became a team-favorite and a personal project of Steve Kerr and the coaching staff.

It’s clear that the Warriors love Marquese Chriss. But should he really be viewed as a potential “building block” preventing them from drafting a player like Memphis’ James Wiseman?

Probably not. If the Warriors see Wiseman as a possible game-changer and future All-Star center, then they likely shouldn’t pass on him simply because Chriss is on the roster.

Chriss would be a fine starting center option next season, but by no means should Golden State be passing on superior prospects because of their infatuation with the former Washington star.

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Of course, the team’s true intentions might ultimately be revealed in the 2020 NBA Draft. And until then, all we could is speculate about the direction the Warriors might take.