Warriors Sign Self-Proclaimed ‘Best Shooter’ in Draft

Lester Quinones

Getty/Abbie Parr Lester Quiñones, when he was with the University of Memphis.

The Golden State Warriors continued their contend-and-develop mission by officially signing undrafted free agent Lester Quiñones to a two-way contract on July 5.

Quiñones, who spent three years at the University of Memphis under coach Penny Hardaway, is the type of player the Warriors are famous for targeting: long-wingspan guards who can shoot and can stay in front of players on defense.

“I feel like I’m one of the best shooters, if not the best shooter, in this year’s draft, and it’s just my job to show it every workout I go to,” Quiñones told HoopsHype on June 7 after working out for the Warriors and several other teams.

Quiñones is expected to start the season with the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors and see if he can end up carving out a role with the Dubs later in the season.

Quiñones Has a Lot of Confidence as a Shooter

After going through five workouts with different teams, Quiñones, 21, decided to forgo his senior year at Memphis and stay in the draft. Although he wound up going undrafted, the Warriors were in on him early. They signed him just minutes after the draft concluded on June 23, Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported.

Quiñones, a native of New York, said Warriors star Klay Thompson was his favorite player as he was growing up.

“Klay [Thompson] has been a favorite player of mine for years now,” Quiñones told HoopsHype. “With him being a 3-and-D player … just watching guys like that really just helps with studying film and really just perfect my craft, and get my game to the next level. Guys like [Mikal] Bridges and Klay are guys I look at.”

Lester Q Lights It Up Against the Lakers

In the Warriors’ second summer-league game of the California Classic tournament on July 5, Quiñones lit it up and led his team with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The Dubs got punished 100-77 by the Lakers, but there were a lot of positives to see with how the undrafted rookie played.

“Lester was good,” said Santa Cruz Warriors coach Seth Cooper, according to the East Bay Times. “We believe he can be a guy who makes shots at a pretty high level. You got to see some of that today. … That’s something we can continue to build on.”

Quiñones will look to build on this performance as the summer league now moves into Las Vegas. Fans will want to be on the lookout for No. 25 once the Warriors get on the court.

Meanwhile, eyes are on the pending return of former prospect James Wiseman, who played one year at Memphis with Quiñones and missed all of the 2021-22 season. The Las Vegas Summer League starts July 7, with the Warriors playing their first game on July 8 against the New York Knicks. The game is at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2.

Also expected to appear in Las Vegas are Jonathan Kuminga, who is set to return from the FIBA World Cup Qualifying in Congo, and Moses Moody, the Warriors’ 2021 first-round draft pick.

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