When the Warriors signed Brad Wanamaker in November, Steve Kerr received a call from Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who wanted him to know the Dubs were getting an “everyday player.”
After spending a couple months with Wanamaker on his squad, Kerr understands what Stevens was conveying.
“I love Brad [Wanamaker],” Kerr told the media in a video conference Monday. “He’s a guy who I just trust. Whenever I put him out there, I trust him. It was that way since Day 1. … I wasn’t exactly sure what Brad [Stevens] meant, but he’s saying the same exact thing I’m saying right now. I just trust him. He hasn’t missed a practice or a game, he’s a strong kid both physically and mentally. I shouldn’t say kid, he’s a grown man.”
Wanamaker will face Stevens and his former Celtics teammates for the first time on Tuesday at Chase Center. The Celtics gave Wanamaker his first NBA gig in 2018 after he went undrafted in 2011 and spent the next eight years overseas.
The 31-year-old got minutes for back-to-back playoff runs before cashing in with a one-year, $2.25 million to join the Warriors. Since joining Golden State, he’s solidified himself as a reliable backup point guard who often seems to be in the right place at the right time. Before the season, Warriors associate coach Mike Brown envisioned a Shaun Livingston-type role for Wanamaker despite their different skillsets.
Wanamaker is averaging just 4.9 points and 2.9 assists this year while sporting an ugly 35.6 shooting percentage in 16.5 minutes per game, but his impact goes deeper. Listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s a stout defender who can hold his own against bigger players. As Kerr noted, Wanamaker can handle the point while letting Steph Curry play off the ball and work for open shots.
“The great thing for us is we’ve been able to play him not only behind Steph but with Steph quite a bit,” Kerr said. “It’s really good for us when they’re together because we have another playmaker on the floor. I’ve really loved having Brad on this team.”