Warriors

Myers, Kerr will work together on Dubs' buyout market plan

Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Whether it was the Death Lineup of the past with Andre Iguodala coming in and Draymond Green, at a generously listed 6-foot-6, playing center or last season's version of it sprinting past teams with Jordan Poole joining Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, it has been clear for years that Steve Kerr is comfortable playing with a team that lacks traditional size. 

Trading 7-footer James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons as part of a four-team deal that brought back 6-foot-2 Gary Payton II to the Warriors only adds to Kerr's style of tackling the game with a team that is short on size. 

Center Kevon Looney is listed at 6-foot-9. Backup big man JaMychal Green comes in at 6-foot-8. Patrick Baldwin Jr. likely stands taller than his listed 6-foot-9 height, though he's a 20-year-old rookie who has 15 NBA games to his name. With an open roster spot, the Warriors' best bet of adding size is on the buyout market

"Yeah, we'll have to look at the buyout market," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Monday. "I think much like last year's deadline, we moved forward with Looney and Draymond, who have kind of split minutes in the regular season. JaMychal, I guess is who you can call our other big.

"Last year, we also had a couple of non-traditional bigs. Nemanja Bjelica's not in the NBA, so I can talk about him. He was a shooting big who did a nice job and was another good player that helped us. We hope that we have enough, but we'll look and see." 

 

Veteran stretch big men like Kevin Love and Serge Ibaka come to mind. Only if they fit the Warriors' mold, though. 

Myers isn't going to add size just to add size. Kerr's evaluation will go a long way in what the Warriors' roster looks like in the end, just as it did in making sure Payton became a Warrior again. 

David West was able to give the Warriors minutes at the 5 in the past, as a 6-foot-9 bruising big man who was a great passer. Andrew Bogut, 7-foot and 260 pounds, operated out of the post like a tower with eyes on all sides of head. JaVale McGee was similar to what the Warriors expected from Wiseman as a 7-footer running down the floor, but he perfectly knew his role as a veteran who would contribute in spurts. 

"It's also determining how the coaches will use that player," Myers said. "For us to say, 'Here's a big guy,' and the coaching staff to say, 'We're not playing that guy,' it doesn't matter if he's 7-feet tall or 8-feet tall. Any buyout conversation has to be done in collaboration with the coaching staff, because why bring a player in if they're not going to use him?

"But if there's a player the coaching staff and the front office thinks can be helpful, absolutely. We'll go target that guy." 

Wiseman fit the traditional big-man mold. He also played 21 minutes for the Warriors in 2023, and two games since Dec. 28, 2022.

Going the route of the buyout market will cost the Warriors around $3 million or $4 million. The Warriors also could look within and convert Anthony Lamb or Ty Jerome's two-way contract. Lamb only has eight active games left as a two-way player and has missed five straight to preserve his clock. Jerome has played five straight games with Curry sidelined by a lower left leg injury and only has 14 games remaining as a two-way player. 

Again, Kerr and his staff will have strong input on what happens with those two as well. 

"I think we have to look and see, whether it's that or it's another player or whatever it might be and compare and say to Steve, 'Hey, these are your options: Which player do you think helps us most?' and make that determination," Myers explained. "Again, they're going to play, especially with this many games left in the season. 

"This is never a thing where, at least not here, where we say, 'Hey, play this player. This is the guy.' It's a collaboration and we have to fit the system. We have to fit what will work here and what does work here, and that's the conversation with the coaching staff." 

 
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The Warriors believe Payton, when healthy, will fit Kerr's system again like a glove. Who else does? 

That's a question that remains up in the air, with Myers and the rest of his staff coming together with Kerr and the coaches to find the right answer.

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