This past season, the Golden State Warriors retook their spot atop the NBA world. After two seasons off due to injuries, they returned to glory, and it looked as though they had never left. They took down the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, winning in six games.
However, they were not able to retain all of their core from last year’s team. Their main pieces are all back – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Kevon Looney – but some of their fringe players left in free agency.
Gary Payton II left the Warriors in favor of signing with the Portland Trail Blazers, earning himself a fairly large payday in the process. A similar sentiment can be made for Otto Porter Jr., who inked a deal with the Toronto Raptors. Plus, Nemanja Bjlecia left to play overseas, signing with Turkish club Fenerbahce.
That being said, the Warriors were quick to replace those two players. They signed guard Donte DiVincenzo to a deal, as he will likely step into Payton’s role. In addition, they signed JaMychal Green to a contract after he was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In a recent interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic, head coach Steve Kerr explained what role the team’s newcomers will play in the upcoming season.
Kerr Explains Green’s Role
For Green, Kerr expects him to replace both Porter and Bjleica to some degree. Both played crucial roles for the Warriors throughout the regular season and playoffs, and Green will have to step up and fill that void.
“He’s the logical replacement for Otto and Beli,” Kerr explained. “One guy replacing two. He’s capable of sort of playing either role, the four or the five. If he’s playing with Draymond, he can stretch the floor and can guard the five, while Draymond guards the four. He gives us frontcourt flexibility.”
In addition, Kerr also said that he expects Green to shoot the ball a bit better next year. Green shot 26.6% from three-point range with the Denver Nuggets last year, but Kerr believes that players shoot better when they join the Warriors.
“I have a lot of confidence he’ll shoot the ball well. Players generally shoot the ball better with us, I think,” said Kerr. “That’s not always true. But the space that Steph and Klay provide them along w”ith Draymond’s passing. You saw it with Otto and Gary last year. I think JaMychal will love playing with our guys.”
As for DiVincenzo, Kerr has the utmost confidence in him.
Kerr Explains DiVincenzo’s Role
With Payton having left the Warriors, DiVincenzo should have an opportunity to play some big-time minutes. Kerr foresees him fitting in perfectly with their current rotation of players.
“Donte is a perfect fit for the way we play,” Kerr said. “The ball movement, the cutting. He’s a great cutter. He’s a really good spot-up shooter. He’s a good passer on the move. He’s not just a spot-up shooter. He’s a secondary playmaker. Pretty bouncy, but with a great feel for the game. He’s gonna fit right in.”
With how many young players the Warriors have on the roster, minutes aren’t going to be guaranteed. But with how highly Kerr thinks of DiVincenzo and Green, they should get some serious chances to earn a regular spot in the lineup.