Mulder came up big for Warriors, but future remains unclear

Mychal Mulder

When Mychal Mulder first signed a 10-day contract with the Warriors in 2020, he was viewed as a diamond in the rough who could help make up for Golden State's lack of shooting with Klay Thompson (torn ACL rehab) and Steph Curry (broken hand) out with injuries.

He was a revelation through his first six games, and that same version of Mulder appeared during the final stretch of the 2020-21 season. 

He was thrust into a larger bench role in April when the Warriors' backcourt -- and overall roster -- was depleted with injuries and Covid-related issues. He played at least 20 minutes per game as the team's eighth man, and with that increase in responsibility came an increase in aggression. 

Mulder recorded several breakout games in April and May showing that he could be more than just a supporting character, and perhaps can be a steady rotational player next season.

But, that's not likely. 

His contract is non-guaranteed, as is Damion Lee's. Kent Bazemore will be an unrestricted free agent, and despite Mulder's bright moments, those two players should be a higher priority on the Warriors' off-season to-do list. 

If there is a way for the Warriors to bring Mulder back, they shouldn't turn it down. For the early part of this season, Mulder didn't have a clear-cut role. He was asked to do the simple things -- those of an end-of-the-bench-player -- such as set picks, move without the ball, bring defensive energy and, of course, just knock down shots. But he never was relied upon consistently.


But when Steve Kerr called his number, he did everything that was asked of him, averaging 5.6 points on 44.9 percent shooting, including 39.7 percent from three, in 12.8 minutes per game.

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If Mulder is on the roster next season, he will need to do that again.

That is exactly the kind of player any NBA team wants at the end of their rotation, and especially one that understands their system as Mulder does with the Warriors. 

It's unclear if there will be room for Mulder in Golden State moving forward. But if he isn't a Warrior, he has done enough this year to land on a roster elsewhere in the league.

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