Warriors

JTA 'automatic' Warriors starter despite two-way contract

Warriors
Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson

Juan Toscano-Anderson made his fifth consecutive start for the Warriors on Thursday night, inching closer to the 50-game limit that's a stipulation of his two-way contract.

After Thursday's contest at Chase Center, Toscano-Anderson will be able to play in -- or simply be active for -- 35 of the Warriors' remaining 56 games. The 27-year-old was inactive in 11 of 14 games prior to center James Wiseman sustaining a wrist injury, but he has been pressed into duty lately as a result of that and Kevon Looney's sprained ankle.

Coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thursday in a pregame video conference the 50-game limit was on his mind when Toscano-Anderson didn't play, and it still is during the Oakland native's breakout season.

"Right now with the injuries, it's a no-brainer [to play him]," Kerr said of Toscano-Anderson. "With no James, no Loon, it's an automatic that we'll play him. But we are going to have to account for that [limit] down the road."

Toscano-Anderson rose from the G League to the NBA during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, and then Golden State kept him on a two-way contract entering this season. Since Wiseman's injury, Toscano-Anderson is averaging 10.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, playing 31.1 minutes per night while earning the trust of the Warriors' coaching staff.

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The Warriors could get one, or both, of Looney and Wiseman a week from now. Golden State is scheduled to play four games, including Thursday, during that time.

 

Toscano-Anderson will continue starting, and the clock will continue to tick on his 50-game limit. Converting his two-way contract to a guaranteed deal would require the Warriors to cut somebody, which doesn't seem especially likely right now.

As long as Toscano-Anderson remains this important to Kerr and the Warriors, though, that conversation could happen sooner rather than later.

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