Why Zaza Pachulia 'excited' to be back in new role with Warriors

Why Zaza Pachulia 'excited' to be back in new role with Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Warriors celebrated the opening of Chase Center on Tuesday, an old friend was enjoying his first day on a new job at the new arena. 

Former Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who played with Golden State for two seasons from 2016 through 2018, is back with the organization as a consultant. 

"It's great to be back," Pachulia told NBC Sports Bay Area.  "So many familiar faces. ... Today's my first day in the office in my new job, so I'm very excited." 

In his new role, the 16-year NBA veteran will work in both the basketball and business sides of the organization, helping the team with community events. 

Pachulia signed with the Warriors three years ago, and the Georgian big man won back-to-back titles in his two seasons with the team. He spent last season with the Detroit Pistons, and Pachulia now returns to a much different team than the one he left.

Star forward Kevin Durant opted to sign with the Brooklyn Nets two months ago in free agency, and that prompted a trade to acquire All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell from the Nets. Russell is one of just eight new players on the roster, while Klay Thompson -- Pachulia's onetime teammate and permanent comedic foil -- is expected to be sidelined until midseason after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. 

Still, Pachulia believes Golden State will contend this season.

"I was taking a tour around the Chase Center the other day and went to the locker room and there are a lot of younger guys ... and a perfect opportunity for them to prove ... to show themselves," Pachulia said. "It's going to be an interesting year. They have a great coaching staff -- one of the best in the business -- and I'm sure coach [Steve] Kerr will use those players in the right way."

[RELATED: Dubs are most popular team in China, according to study]

As for Thompson, Pachulia thinks his former teammate will be effective when he returns to the floor. 

"I know he's in good spirits," Pachulia said. "He's enjoying his time. I'm sure he's feeling better because I saw his dance moves at the [Chicago Cubs] game." 

Watch Steph Curry, Canelo Álvarez spar at celebrity golf tournament

Watch Steph Curry, Canelo Álvarez spar at celebrity golf tournament

Oh no! Steph Curry got in a sparring match.

Just kidding. But the Warriors superstar did have a fake fight with legendary boxer Canelo Álvarez while the two were waiting to play a practice round at the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe.

Canelo made Curry look the least athletic he probably has ever looked -- and that’s saying something. 

Canelo swiped from the left side at Steph and he couldn’t believe it. 

“You’re supposed to move, dude,” somebody shouted as Steph laughed. 

Canelo has just one loss across his career with 53 wins in 56 fights -- 36 of those wins by knockout. That’s probably why he’s dubbed the world’s best active boxer by BoxRec. 

[RELATED: Steph adorably teaches son to golf on the beach]

Glad it’s Steph and not me.

Don’t worry, nobody was hurt in the making of this Instagram story. 

Warriors 2020 NBA free agency targets: Five big men team could sign

Warriors 2020 NBA free agency targets: Five big men team could sign

The Warriors need to bolster their frontcourt this offseason.

They could do just that through the NBA draft, free agency or both.

Last week, Grant Liffmann listed some possible "under-the-radar" free-agents the front office could target. And Monte Poole, Kerith Burke, Liffmann and yours truly discussed those options this week on the latest "Warriors Roundtable."

It's very possible that general manager Bob Myers and his staff make it a priority to sign a player (or two) who is a threat from deep.

The plan was for Kevon Looney to add the 3-point shot to his game last year, but injuries derailed his season.

Marquese Chriss averaged 2.7 3-point attempts per game over his first two NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, but just shot 39 3s over 59 games with the Dubs in 2019-20 (he made eight).

[RELATED: Debating guards, wings Warriors could sign in free agency]

And Draymond Green -- who might end up playing more center in 2020-21 -- has not shot the ball consistently well from beyond the arc the last four regular seasons.

To see which big men the Warriors might be interested in adding this October, watch the full conversation above.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]