SAN FRANCISCO -- Marquese Chriss has been living in basketball purgatory over the last week after being waived by the Warriors for salary-cap purposes. Now, after signing a two-way contract to rejoin Golden State, Chriss is excited to be back with the team.
"It feels good," Chriss said Thursday afternoon. "I feel welcomed, I feel wanted and I think being able to jump right into the flow of things is good for me."
Under his current deal, Chriss will have 24 available days in the NBA. To maximize his time on the roster, the Warriors will hold him out of most practices, leaving him to work out on his own to stay in shape.
Chriss' release last week was a result of Golden State's hard cap. Despite averaging 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 37 games, he had the only non-guaranteed deal on the roster. With the Warriors up against the cap, coupled with the rise of guard Damion Lee, Golden State was forced to waive the big man hours before the Jan. 7 deadline to guarantee his deal.
However, as teammates said their goodbyes, a message reverberated throughout the locker room: "If Marquese clears waivers, he'll be back."
That optimism came true Wednesday afternoon when Chriss signed a two-way contract with the Dubs after clearing waivers, bringing the two sides back together.
"I knew personally I wanted to be here but logistically I didn't know how it would work out, if it would even be possible," Chriss said. "So thankfully I am here, things worked out the way they were supposed to."
Last fall, Chriss joined the team as a reclamation project, battling a rep of immaturity along the way. During his brief stint in Golden State, he has been seen as a model teammate, garnering praise from those around him.
"Marquese has been in some tough situations and nobody ever wants to say ‘that wasn’t the right fit for a young guy,'" Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "It's always 'that young guy doesn't work for [us], he's not good enough to be in the league and that's that.'"
While Chriss is under a two-way deal, the Warriors are open to keeping the forward long term, which the forward said he'd be open to.
"I hope so, I would love to be here," he said. "That's the plan. I would love to be here to spend a lot of time here creating a memory of myself in this organization and I'd love to be a part of what we're continuing to build so that's the end goal."