Steve Kerr has made it clear over the last couple of months that Alen Smailagic needs to be able to consistently knock down 3-point shots to stick in the NBA.
"I think Smiley pretty much has to be a five," Golden State's coach told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami in October. "He's a pretty big guy, he shoots the 3 well, he's skilled.
"I look at him more as a face-up five. I think that's gonna be his role ultimately in the NBA."
Kerr was asked about the 20-year-old earlier this week.
“[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, offensively,” Kerr said.
So who are the NBA players Golden State wants Smailagic to emulate?
Player development coach Seth Cooper told the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau he has shown the Serbian big man film of Dāvis Bertāns, Moe Wagner and Ersan Ilyasova.
Bertans, who just signed a five-year contract worth $80 million with the Washington Wizards, drilled over 42 percent of his 3s last season on 8.7 attempts per game. He was the 42nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, and just turned 28 years old.
Smailagic -- the No. 39 pick in 2019 -- doesn't turn 21 until August, but has a long, long way to go with his development. And it will be difficult for him to find consistent playing time this season.
“I think there’s a lot there to work with, and he has a really good chance to be a really good player in the NBA," Cooper said. “I’m confident he’ll reach his goals.
"He’s just that type of guy.”