Warriors Rookie Makes Strong Statement on Injury Progress

Ryan Rollins

Getty Ryan Rollins of the Toledo Rockets handles the ball during a bout with the Michigan Wolverines.

When the Golden State Warriors made the move to acquire Toledo standout Ryan Rollins on draft night, a steep price was paid. In addition to coughing up their pick at No. 51 overall, the team also sent the Atlanta Hawks a whopping $2 million to get Rollins at No. 44.

Clearly, though, Bob Myers and the rest of the Warriors brain trust had a feeling about the baller. Rather than making Rollins come to camp and fight for a roster spot like most second-rounders have to do, the Dubs ponied up to the tune of a three-year, $4.8 million rookie deal.

Moreover, the first two years of his contract are guaranteed.

Alas, fans haven’t had an opportunity to see what the Warriors saw in the 20-year-old, as he was held out of summer league with a stress fracture in his right foot. At Warriors Media Day on Sunday, however, Rollins made it clear that his injury is in the rearview.

Everything Is Looking Up for Rollins, Post-Injury

Ryan Rollins 2022 Media Day Press Conference | Golden State WarriorsRyan Rollins met with the media during the Golden State Warriors 2022-23 Media Day.2022-09-26T04:28:21Z

Rollins was an active participant as Warriors training camp tipped off over the weekend. However, during his media session, he revealed that he’s actually been doing his thing for a hot minute now.

“I was cleared to start playing like two weeks ago,” Rollins revealed. “But it’s been like a two-month long process getting back in shape, getting my leg stronger and stuff. I feel good. I’ve been out playing during training camp, so I feel good on the court.”

He offered a similar evaluation of his ability to contribute while mixing it up with his new teammates.

“I’ve been playing good. Before the training camp, we were — people were in here and we were getting a lot of runs in, a lot of five-on-five, and I was doing all right, just getting comfortable and trying to get back up to speed and even improve on that.”

He’s also looking to improve on the defensive end, where NBA rookies tend to struggle the most.

“The first two days, they have just been learning experiences, mainly. You know, I’m trying to learn the defensive movements and terminology and all that, what the players are calling. It’s really just been mainly a learning experience for me the past couple of days.”

Rollins Has Been Impressing His Teammates

One day earlier, Warriors big man Kevon Looney was effusive in his praise of Rollins, whom he confessed to having missed the boat on previously.

“Actually, i’ve been really impressed with Ryan,” Looney said following the team’s first practice. “He just got cleared not too long ago and to see him play — I got to play pick up with him in the last couple weeks and to see his feel for the game; the way he can score the ball… uh, it was a surprise.”

Had he been watching more closely, it may not have been surprising at all.

During Rollins’ final collegiate go-round at Toledo, he averaged an impressive 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. And his 6-foot-10 wingspan and natural bucket-getting and playmaking chops left some scouts drooling during the pre-draft process.

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