No matter who the opponent is, Juan Toscano-Anderson wants to be able to man them up and defend them effectively. The Warriors forward spoke at Media Day on Monday about how his offseason muscle gain will help him become a more versatile defender.
"I was in the weight room every single day, been here for pretty much the whole summer," Toscano-Anderson told reporters Monday. "Took a few windows where I went to visit Mexico, eating right, the nutrition, shout out to our whole team, we have a hell of a staff here."
Toscano-Anderson explained that he always has had a fast metabolism, and that has kept him from being able to add on significant weight. This offseason, he was able to put on 10 pounds to help him persevere through the full 82-game NBA schedule.
"Obviously I'm a rugged player, I don't run from contact, I like to guard, I like to bang, so I want to be able to guard bigger guys without question," Toscano-Anderson said. "The big thing for me last year was to gain (head coach Steve Kerr) Steve's trust, now I want to gain everybody's trust in this organization to know that Juan can guard everybody one through five.
"Doesn't matter if it's (Nikola) Vucevic, don't matter if it's Ja Morant, don't matter if it's Kawhi Leonard, we can put him there to match up. And so, I want to continue to add value to myself for this team, where can my coach put me in the game, where is he comfortable allowing me to play in certain situations, so that was a big part of it."
Toscano-Anderson played quite a bit at the four during portions of last season as James Wiseman and Kevon Looney's absences pushed Draymond Green into playing at the five.
At 6-foot-6, Toscano-Anderson primarily has played on the wing during his basketball career. However, the Warriors having another player like Draymond who can switch and defend an elite opposing big man or guard could free up offensive playmakers and allow Kerr to have more flexible lineups.
JTA's versatility will be vital for the Warriors as they take on a fiercely competitive Western Conference with hopes of returning to title contention.