Kerr not considering Smailagić despite injuries at center


The Warriors are without a healthy center for Thursday's game in Dallas against the Mavericks, but coach Steve Kerr told reporters that he won't be activating Alen Smailagić to try and rectify the team's frontcourt depth.

"No, that hasn't been discussed," Kerr said Thursday in a pregame video conference. "He's been injured for a while now and he has not practiced with our team, so it would be irresponsible to throw him out into a game just because we need a center, so the plan is staying the same."

The Warriors' center depth took another hit Tuesday night when Kevon Looney went down with an ankle sprain that will sideline him for at least two weeks. James Wiseman sprained his wrist during a win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night and won't be re-evaluated until next week, leaving the Warriors without a traditional center.

Draymond Green will be getting the start at center in Thursday night's game, with Juan Toscano-Anderson playing power forward.

Kerr added that he simply wants Smailagić to gain experience and take advantage of playing time in the upcoming G League bubble, which will begin play Feb. 10. The 18 teams participating, including the Santa Cruz Warriors, will play up to 15 games in a bubble environment similar to what the NBA did to conclude the 2019-20 season.


Joining Smailagić from the Warriors' roster are 2019 first-round draft pick Jordan Poole and 2020 second-round pick Nico Mannion.

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Smailagić had surgery in early January to repair a "minor right meniscal tear," and the team announced that he would be re-evaluated in four weeks.

The Warriors remain confident in Smailagić's potential, and they'll be looking for positive development when the 20-year-old finally can take the floor with his teammates next floor.

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