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.
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.