Kavion Pippen

Warriors waive three players as regular-season roster starts taking shape

Warriors waive three players as regular-season roster starts taking shape

The Warriors’ regular-season roster is beginning to take shape.

Golden State announced on Saturday morning that they waived Andrew Harrison, Kavion Pippen, and Juan Toscano-Anderson.

The NBA preseason came to a close Friday night for the Warriors at Chase Center, as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 124-103. Golden State avenged three losses earlier in the preseason to LeBron James and the Lakers.

Harrison was signed to a training camp deal in early September, and he was on his fifth NBA team in just three seasons.

Pippen was brought in for depth after the Warriors’ frontcourt was plagued with injuries, and he scored 2.5 points per game in four preseason appearances with Golden State. Pippen is the nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

Toscano-Anderson is an Oakland native who has had quite a basketball odyssey, playing several professional seasons in Mexico before spending most of last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League.

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This brings the Warriors roster down to 14, with Damion Lee and Ky Bowman filling the team’s two two-way contract spots.

The regular season opens up for the Warriors and Chase Center on Thursday when Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers come to town.

How Kavion Pippen is trying to make his own name in Warriors tryout

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USATSI

How Kavion Pippen is trying to make his own name in Warriors tryout

"I wouldn't want to be you guys if I had to, because of all the expectations that you have to deal with."

Michael Jordan said a lot of memorable stuff during his infamous Hall of Fame speech a decade ago. Early on, he made it clear that, while his children appeared to live enviable lives, they did not in many ways.

Jordan won six NBA championships alongside fellow Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. Just like Jordan, Pippen has younger relatives -- basketball players, in fact -- who had no choice but to grow up in his shadow.

Pippen's nephew, Kavion, is a 6-foot-10 center who recently signed with the Warriors. Much like Jordan's children, he must define his own persona outside of his notable last name.

"He was a big part of my life,” Kavion said of his uncle (via the Mercury News). “I looked up to him. Everyone in my area looked up to him. He was like a figure everyone looked up to and wanted to be, so it helped me out and he was kind of the father figure that I looked up to."

Scottie was a top-10 draft pick coming out of Central Arkansas. Kavion was recruited by his uncle's alma mater, but opted to attend junior college before choosing to play at Southern Illinois. It was a conscious decision to allow him to create his own separate identity.

"Just be my own person," Kavion said. "Not focus on my last name."

After going undrafted in 2019, Kavion now finds himself with a great opportunity in Golden State. With injuries to Willie Cauley-Stein, Kevon Looney and rookie Alen Smailagic, the Warriors needed some big-bodied reinforcements.

Enter Pippen.

"The big thing is we’re just so beaten up at the center spot, so we need him to help us get through camp,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday of Pippen. “He’s a young and athletic kid. He’s been here two days now, so he’s six or seven days behind, but he’s trying to get acclimated as quickly as possible. We need him because we hardly have enough bodies. It’s great experience for him."

Before signing with the Warriors, Kavion's uncle gave him some advice.

"He said, ‘Focus in. Attain as much knowledge from the veterans here, and just play hard and get better,'" Kavion recalled.

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While Pippen's chances of making the Warriors' regular-season roster are quite slim due to their salary cap restrictions, he is enjoying the opportunity nonetheless.

"Just to be here is eye-opening. It is so, so amazing. I can’t believe it,” he said. “It still seems like all a dream."

Warriors practice takeaways: D'Angelo Russell rounding into shape

Warriors practice takeaways: D'Angelo Russell rounding into shape

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors had a long practice Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their second preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday evening. 

With an injured roster, Golden State elected to bring in undrafted big man Kavion Pippen to get the team through camp. Meanwhile, the Warriors have seen little progress from its injured frontcourt. 

To catch you up on Tuesday's practice, here are the biggest takeaways from the team's media session.

D'Angelo Russell rounding into form

Russell struggled during Golden State's 123-101 loss to the Lakers Saturday evening, making just two of his nine shots from the field. Three days later, he admitted that he's still trying to get into mid-season shape.  

"After preseason, I would say a few games after that," Russell said Tuesday afternoon on when he expects to get his full wind. "It's definitely a lot of - you're putting a lot on your body in the preseason. It's not getting the full recovery you could get. Any time you go that hard and take a few days off - maybe a week off - I think your body is getting back to that." 

Following Saturday's loss, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that Russell had to "get his legs underneath him." On Tuesday, Russell -- who signed a four-year $117 million deal in July -- explained why he doesn't include pickup basketball in his summer training regimen. 

"I try to limit my pickup basketball," Russell said. "I think it's not safe for one and two, I think its just load managing. Trying to manage my body the best way I can and prepare for this time. But as far as staying in basketball shape I try to play one on ones and go around the court and play one on one full court, little stuff like that but not as high intensity with a big group." 

Russell said the decision came after injuring his knee in 2017 following a summer of preparation for his first season with the Brooklyn Nets. A month into the 2017-18 season, Russell underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove "loose bodies." 

"I was killing myself, two or three workouts a day," Russell said. "On top of what the team was asking for me to do, it was too much wear and tear." 

Russell -- who turned 23 in February --  said he hopes his body maintenance could lead him to a long career going forward.  

"For sure," Russell said. "Especially with the checks they're handing out. I want to play as long as I can." 

Warriors add a new big

With three of Golden State's big men injured, the team added Kavion Pippen -- a 6-foot-10 big man from Southern Illinois -- to help the team get through training camp. 

Pippen, nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, participated in a closed workout in San Francisco last week. With Kevon Looney (hamstring), Willie Cauley Stein (foot) and rookie big man Alen Smailigic (ankle) out with injuries, Pippen impressed. 

"We're so beaten up at the center spot," Kerr said. "So we need him to help us get through camp." 

"He's an athletic kid," Kerr added. "Been here two days now so six days behind but we need him because we hardly have enough bodies." 

Pippen -- who went undrafted this summer -- averaged 12 points and five rebounds last season for the Salukis. A native of Hamburg, Ark., he played two years at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Conn. On Tuesday, Pippen said his uncle, a winner of six NBA titles, said he talked to Scottie prior to signing with Golden State. 

"Just telling me to focus in," Kavion said of his uncle's advice. "Obtain as much knowledge from the veterans here and just play hard." 

Kavion got initiated into Golden State early. Prior to his first film session, he was sitting in guard Stephen Curry's seat and was asked to get up by the 3-time champion, a request he obliged. 

Pippen's chances to make the roster are slim, given Golden State's cap situation. Currently, the team sits $407,257 under the hard cap, despite having just 15 players on the roster.

The only way the big man could make the team is if the Warriors release Alfonzo McKinnie -- who's on a non-guaranteed contract. Nonetheless, Kavion's goal remains clear.  

"I'm definitely competing to get that [on] the 15-man roster." 

Notable absences

Alec Burks (ankle), Kevon Looney (hamstring), Willie Cauley-Stein (foot) and rookie big man Alen Smailigic (ankle) all sat out practice Tuesday afternoon.

Poole rolled his ankle before practice Monday afternoon and was held out for Monday night's open session at Chase Center.  During open practice, Poole sat on the sideline alongside Burks, Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Smailigic.

While Kerr had no update on Cauley-Stein or Smailigic, he said Looney -- who tweaked his hamstring last week -- participated in individual work with the training staff but didn't join the team on the court Monday afternoon. 

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The recent rash of injuries comes as Golden State is going through a transitional period. With Kevin Durant now with the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson out until at least the All-Star break, Golden State is in a unique space heading into the 2019-20 season.

While none of the injuries are viewed to be long-term, it doesn't help to have an influx of injuries on a team with eight new summer additions.