Steve Kerr on Friday stopped shy of confirming that the Warriors had converted Juan Toscano-Anderson's two-way contract to an NBA deal.
He didn't need to confirm it. The Golden State coach's admiration said it all.
"Fantastic story," Kerr said of Toscano-Anderson during an interview with 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" on Friday.
"Twenty-eight years old, he's bounced around the entire world playing basketball, and I think our fans love him. I know we love him as a coaching staff. The guy just gets it. He plays with great energy, he's smart, he's tough. He's improved his skill now as a passer and a shooter to a point where he's really making a lot of plays out there for us."
A league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that the Warriors will convert Toscano-Anderson's contract "in a manner of days." The East Oakland native has carved out an important role in the Warriors' rotation during his second NBA season, playing as a forward and small-ball center.
In 48 games this season, Toscano-Anderson has shot better from every area on the floor than he did as a rookie. He's also averaging fewer turnovers (1.1) and more assists (2.6) per game, and Toscano-Anderson also has been a part of arguably the Warriors' best five-man lineup.
Only five such combinations have played at least 50 minutes together this season. Of those, the unit of Toscano-Anderson, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins has the best net rating (plus-9.9) and the best offensive rating (118.3 points per 100 possessions).
The Warriors have outscored opponents by 2.6 points per 100 possessions with Toscano-Anderson on the floor, and only Kent Bazemore has a better defensive rating (103.9) among Warriors than Toscano-Anderson (105.3).
"[When] a guy knows how to play and he can guard multiple spots, he can play in any combination, and that's his real value to our team," Kerr said of Toscano-Anderson. "He's not dependent on a certain combination. In pretty much every case, he makes whatever combination he's with better."
Kerr said it was a "really fun moment" last season when Damion Lee and Mychal Mulder had their contracts converted from two-way deals to standard NBA ones, and he expects the same for Toscano-Anderson. He said Golden State will wait until the contract becomes official, following what Kerr said "has been an ongoing negotiation."
Based on Kerr's evident enjoyment of coaching Toscano-Anderson, his signing will be worth the wait.