Warriors

Kerr says Dubs 'examining all the possible options' for bigs

Warriors
Steve Kerr, Warriors

The Warriors have faced a lack of frontcourt depth all season and it will continue to be tested without rookie center James Wiseman, who underwent surgery on his knee Thursday.

The team announced Wiseman will miss the remainder of the season and is expected to return for the 2021-22 campaign.

During Steve Kerr’s pregame media session with reporters Thursday, the Warriors coach revealed the front office is currently looking to see if there are any free agents who fit the bill for frontcourt help.

“It always depends on who you’re talking about,” Kerr said. “Adding size just for the sake of adding size doesn’t accomplish anything. But if you can add a good player who can help you win a game, then it matters. I know our front office is in the process of examining all the possible options out there.”

The Warriors currently have their 15th roster spot open but any signee’s salary would be tripled or quadrupled based on the looming luxury tax rates the team faces. Golden State would have to be very confident with its choice on a backup big man, as the team jockeys for position in the postseason race.

Entering Thursday’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State was 27-28 and sitting in the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference.

Kerr said the Warriors will continue to employ a smallball style of play that has helped the team find an offensive spark lately.

 

“For sure,” Kerr said. “We’re going to do that regardless if they find a big guy out there who can help. … It’s not just smallball, per se. It’s personnel and it’s awareness and understanding of what’s going on and moving the ball.”

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For now, Kevon Looney and Draymond Green figure to get most of the Warriors' minutes at the center spot. The Warriors would probably like to avoid using Alen Smailagic in meaningful minutes down the stretch, as he didn’t look NBA ready during his first start of the season on March 20 and has played sparingly since.

Juan Toscano-Anderson has also seen a spike in minutes lately and Eric Paschall is due to return from a hip flexor injury soon. Kerr praised Looney for his knowledge and fit within the Warriors system, but Looney has his limitations in terms of athleticism and scoring.

One name to keep an eye on is Damian Jones, who played within Kerr’s system with the Warriors from 2016-19. 

The 25-year-old center played well with the Los Angeles Lakers on a pair of 10-day contracts this season before they elected to sign veteran Andre Drummond. Jones has since latched on with the Kings, but his 10-day contract is set to expire on Friday.

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