Despite his exciting start with the Warriors, Mac McClung was released by the team on Monday -- and it wasn’t a decision the team took lightly.
The 23-year-old guard quickly became a player to watch for Dub Nation after impressing on the court during summer league and wowing the NBA world with an unreal pregame dunk in Japan.
On Tuesday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr explained why the Warriors chose to release McClung and bring in former first-round pick Ty Jerome instead.
“I think we were interested in a more pass-first point guard,” Kerr told reporters. “Letting Mac go was tough. I love Mac, and I think he’s an NBA player.”
Along with his viral dunk, McClung showed flashes of what he was capable of with Golden State on several occasions. He was a standout in summer league action, averaging 13.4 points, 3.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
His impressive showing earned him a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Warriors in July, allowing him to compete for one of the team’s final roster spots in training camp.
During Golden State’s second preseason game at Saitama Super Arena in Japan, McClung recorded nine points, two rebounds and two assists in the 104-95 win.
When all was said and done, however, McClung just wasn’t a good fit for the Warriors’ offense that is dependent on plenty of ball movement.
“But I think for our roster, we needed a more pass-first guy, and Ty is a very intriguing player because of his size and his ability to see over the top of the defense, his pick-and-roll play,” Kerr said. “So it’s a great opportunity for us to get a look at him and for him to play with our guys.”
The Warriors and Jerome have agreed to a contract, the team announced Tuesday, though its details were not disclosed.
The 6-foot-5 guard was drafted 24th overall by the Suns in the 2019 NBA Draft and spent one season with Phoenix before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Chris Paul deal in 2020.
And while Jerome looks for a new opportunity with the Warriors, it’s clear the team and Kerr wish McClung the best as he looks for his next chance.