Warriors

Examining Warriors' options for final spot on NBA roster

Warriors
Darren Collison

The Warriors will start training camp shortly, with the 15th spot on their active roster still up for grabs.

In past seasons, the Warriors have elected to leave the spot open for potential additions during the season after the buyout deadline, but this roster does not have the same luxuries as previous editions.

As it stands, the Warriors will be without Klay Thompson for the first couple months of the season, and will also have two young, inexperienced rookies filling up roster spots. If Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are not ready to successfully contribute in NBA games, that leaves the Warriors with 11 players on the active roster they can reasonably rely on.

For a team that has dealt with a plethora of injuries and ailments over the last couple of years, it would seem as if the Dubs could use an extra man on the roster for depth.

The Warriors' front office and coaching staff clearly believe their guard depth could use some help, based on the players they have been bringing in for workouts. In the past couple of weeks, the Warriors have worked out guards Darren Collison and Ryan Arcidiacono, and according to HoopsHype, plan to bring in former star Isaiah Thomas soon.

Of these three guards, Collison could bring the most to this current roster if he resembles anything like the player he was when he last played during the 2018-19 season. The now 34-year-old point guard shot over 42 percent from 3-point range over his final fours years in the league, with an efficient 5.1-to-1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Collison also was a solid defender at points in his career. Counting on a player in his mid-30's that has not played in the NBA for over two years could be a blind bet, but should the Warriors discover that he has some game left in the tank, the basketball fit is obvious.

 

Meanwhile, the oft-injured guard Thomas can be a flamethrower scorer off the bench when right, which is something the Warriors definitely can use. However, due to his size and physical limitations, he has been one of the worst defenders in the NBA over his career and is unlikely to be any better at this point. Arcidiacono is an above-average shooter from deep and a high motor player, but he does not necessarily excel in any other particular part of the game.

Two players the Warriors are more familiar with, Gary Payton II and Mychal Mulder, have the inside track at the 15th spot as of now. Payton II can bring the defensive energy to hound opposing guards, and already has learned the Warriors' system. Assuming the 15th player on the roster will not get many minutes is the likeliest scenario, so someone like Payton II could be the right guy to bring that jolt of defensive fire in small doses.

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Mulder, on the other hand, is the player the Warriors know the best and has provided solid shooting in his brief NBA career. Unlike the other players mentioned before, he is not a ball-handler or playmaker, so if the Warriors decide they simply want another floor spacer, then he is the most likely candidate. Mulder, unlike the other players mentioned before, does have the option to sign with the Warriors on their final two-way spot should he not find an NBA roster spot elsewhere.

The Warriors definitely will monitor the intentions of recently bought-out big man Marc Gasol as well. Should he decide he would like to return to the NBA, the fit is obvious between him and the Warriors, and there likely would be interest between both parties. If the Warriors decide to go the route of adding a front-court player for their final roster spot, they almost assuredly would look to add another guard to their final two-way spot, to go along with point guard Chris Chiozza.

One other veteran point guard addition the Warriors could entertain, though there have not been any reports of their interest, is Jeff Teague. The 33-year-old free agent played well off the bench for the champion Milwaukee Bucks last season but has yet to sign with a team this offseason.

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