Kerr says Smailagic could play for Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Alen Smailagic Warriors pass

James Wiseman and Eric Paschall will not play in either of the Warriors' games vs. the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday.

Golden State will have its hands full trying to slow down Grizzlies big man Jonas Valančiūnas.

So if you are hoping to see Alen Smailagić get some rotation minutes, you just might be in luck.

The No. 39 overall pick in the 2019 draft has played three total minutes for Golden State this season, which came in garbage time of the Dubs' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week.

Smailagic underwent surgery Jan. 4 to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee, and then played in the G League bubble with the Santa Cruz Warriors.

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The Warriors hold a team option on the final two years of the big man's contract, and will have to make a decision on his roster spot for the 2021-22 season shortly after free agency opens this summer.

“[Smailagic] has to have a picture in his mind of how he can fit in the NBA, and I think that’s as a pick-and-pop shooter” Steve Kerr said back in early December. “He’s gotta understand his responsibilities as a defensive player, whether he’s at the 4 or the 5.

"But it’s a pretty steep learning curve at the NBA level and we’re trying to help him through that process.”


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