Marquese Chriss hopes to be on Warriors long term after rejoining team

Marquese Chriss hopes to be on Warriors long term after rejoining team

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.'"

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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."  

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Editor’s note: With the NBA season halted over coronavirus concerns, Warriors fans have unanswered questions about the team and how it’s building toward the future. To provide answers, NBC Sports Bay Area will simulate some previously scheduled Warriors games through NBA 2K, mixing video-game results with real-life insights for our coverage team.

Even amid the NBA season suspension due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Andrew Wiggins enters the spring as the Warriors' biggest question mark.

A former No. 1 overall draft pick, Wiggins' potential drops jaws, while his inconsistency is head-scratching. Upon arrival, the Warriors believed his ability would bode well alongside Steph Curry and the team's culture.

In a simulation of the March 28 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder using NBA 2K20, Wiggins showed promise towards that goal in a 117-110 loss.

In the digital confines, Wiggins finished with 35 points, getting most of his buckets within the flow of the Warriors' motion offense.

"I think he really fits well," Draymond Green said of Wiggins last month. "As seamless as it could possibly be, I think he can fit right in. He can score the basketball, he can run the wings, he's a pretty good defender. So I think he'll definitely fit in with this core for a long time."

Similar performances weren't as consistent during Wiggins' first four seasons in Minnesota. Wiggins didn't live up to the expectations that come with being a franchise player. His offensive inconsistency quickly drew the ire of NBA observers. Worse, Wiggins became one of the worst defenders in the league, even after he signed a five-year, $145 million contract.

Nonetheless, the Warriors saw potential in the 25-year old, trading former All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell, along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, in part to pair Wiggins with Curry. In the 2K simulation, the pairing worked, as the tandem combined for 62 points on the night.

The performance was consistent with Wiggins' lone real-world game alongside the former MVP. Against the Raptors back on March 5, the duo combined for 44 points in Curry's return from a broken left hand.

Curry's first highlight against the Raptors came with the help of his Canadian teammate, when he took a dribble in the lane, drew a double-team and fired a behind the back pass to Wiggins in the lane, leading to an easy layup, surprising Wiggins in the process.

"I didn't even know it was coming, really," Wiggins admitted after the loss to the Raptors. "I was kind of watching like it may come, but then when he went behind the back I was just trying to catch it. It was a hell of a pass."

"I'm very excited," Wiggins added. "He's an MVP player, one of the greats. He helped transition the game with his 3s and how fast he plays. So, I'm excited."

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Wiggins' virtual performance Saturday coincided with his strong play during his short stint in the Bay Area. In his last five games, he averaged 20 points on 46 percent shooting from the field. If Wiggins continues to build on his current play, the Warriors will see the potential they've wanted all along, making for an intriguing process Wiggins says he's ready for.

"I feel like I've adjusted well," Wiggins told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier in March. "I've never played with anyone as good as him. By far, he's the best player that I've played with. Just getting a chance to learn from him and feeding off him and just learning."

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Today is the 30th day in March.

Warriors superstar Steph Curry wears No. 30.

Obviously, that means you should watch every single 3-pointer the two-time NBA MVP has made in his career from 30 feet and beyond.

Thank you to our friends at the Warriors for making this possible:

You watched all 87, right? What's your favorite?

Is it the famous 37-footer against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 27, 2016? What about the 62-footer he swished at the end of the third quarter in Game 6 of the 2015 Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies?

[RELATED: What separates Steph Curry as favorite among all Bay Area MVP athletes]

There just are so many incredible ones to choose from.

Now go spend 10 more minutes watching all 87 again ...

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