Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks praise growth of young Warriors players

Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks praise growth of young Warriors players

Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks signed with the Warriors last offseason to play for a winning organization, have a chance at a title and revitalize their careers.

They accomplished two of three. Both Robinson and Burks were valuable veterans on a Warriors team whose season quickly spiraled after Steph Curry broke his hand in the fourth game of the year. Burks and Robinson fought side-by-side with young Dubs Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole and Marquese Chriss for 48 games before being shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the NBA trade deadline, where they will have a chance to fight for an NBA championship.

The veteran duo returned to Chase Center on Saturday and found the baby Warriors have taken it up a notch since they last played with them.

"They are getting a lot of minutes, you know?" Robinson said after the Warriors' 118-114 win, via 95.7 The Game. "It's boosting their confidence. You can tell from the beginning of the season how much they've improved their chemistry together. It will be interesting to see what pieces the Warriors will keep going forward. But I wish the best to all of them, and I could definitely see the growth from preseason and the start of training camp."

Paschall opened the season on fire before hitting an early rookie wall that he recently broke through. Poole struggled with his shot early on but has discovered renewed confidence in his game as the year has gone on. For Chriss, signing with the Warriors has helped save a career that was circling the drain. 

All three players, along with Damion Lee, appear to be in the Warriors' long-term plans and Burks isn't surprised at how the young guys have grown.

"I think (Paschall) he's been doing it all year," Burks told 95.7 The Game. "With (Poole) it just took him a little bit longer, but I think he is figuring it out. I think he plays great with the ball in his hands and now he's got every opportunity. The game will slow down for everybody and I think it's doing that. (Chriss) has been in the league for four years, so you know how it be."

"I think opportunity is everything," Burks continued. "Just being in that situation over and over again, that helps young guys. That's what they get playing tough games against great teams and that will help their development in the future."

[RELATED: How Lee made good on Paschall's faith in him in Dubs' win]

While Burks and Robinson's time with the Warriors was relatively short, their impact on the Warriors young players can't be discounted.

With Curry and Klay Thompson missing most of -- and, in Thompson's case, all of -- the season, Burks and Robinson took on vital leadership roles on the court to help Paschall, Poole and Chriss grow as NBA players.

The Warriors will end the season with one of the worst records in the NBA, but the opportunity to develop and grow this season will serve them and Golden State better in the long run.

NBA free agency: Warriors could target these big men for next season

NBA free agency: Warriors could target these big men for next season

The Warriors will go into the 2020-21 season with positional needs to shore up their depth if they intend to make a run at the title. If Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are healthy next season, the front office will have to mix and match with what they already have filling out the roster.

At their disposal, the Warriors will only have the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts to hand out to unrestricted free agents. So what areas do they need to address the roster? 

This week we already examined the guards and wings that could interest the Warriors. The center position definitely could use another piece as well. 

Kevon Looney was supposed to be a major factor in the frontcourt, but injuries derailed his season and unfortunately, there always will be question marks about his durability moving forward.

Marquese Chriss came out of nowhere and blossomed into the guy that might be holding down the starting center spot next season. Alen Smailagic is way too young and raw to be expected to make a major contribution next season, and the Warriors will be reluctant to use Draymond Green at center too much during the regular season. So the team will need at least one more big, preferably of veteran status, to add to their depth.


NFL rumors: 49ers have discussed Raheem Mostert, Kendrick Bourne extensions

NFL rumors: 49ers have discussed Raheem Mostert, Kendrick Bourne extensions

As the 49ers and George Kittle try to iron out what is sure to be a massive contract extension, the reigning NFC champions also are looking at giving extensions to two other offensive pieces.

The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Wednesday that "extensions for Raheem Mostert and Kendrick Bourne have been discussed."

Mostert is signed through 2021, but he is in line for a pay raise after the 2019 campaign he had. Mostert evolved into one of the 49ers' key offensive options throughout the season and ended up leading the team in rushing with 772 yards. Mostert, of course, exploded in the NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers when he ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-20 win.

With Matt Breida now a member of the Miami Dolphins and Jerick McKinnon's health still a question mark, Mostert will enter the season as the No. 1 back and a focal point of an offense that is laser-focused on getting back to the Super Bowl and finishing the job.

As for Bourne, he was tendered this offseason as a restricted free agent, and will be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Originally undrafted out of Eastern Washington, the 49ers gave Bourne a chance to make it at the NFL level and he has improved every season of his young career. Last season, Bourne caught a career-high five touchdown passes and caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown during the 49ers' playoff run.

[RELATED: Bourne sees Aiyuk as one reason for Super Bowl return]

Bourne has been working hard this offseason in San Jose, with picture and video flooding social media to show that he plans to take another leap in 2020.

At just 24 years old, Bourne's football still is ahead of him and the 49ers would like to keep him in the pattern for the foreseeable future.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]