The Golden State Warriors just gave a big promotion to a hometown favorite.
After playing on a two-way contract this season and eventually working his way into the regular rotation, Juan Toscano-Anderson was reportedly just rewarded with a standard NBA contract. As one insider said, it’s a major stamp of approval for the player who grew up just minutes away from where the Warriors play.
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As Monte Pool of NBC Sports Bay Area reported, the Warriors gave Toscano-Anderson a standard NBA contract after he had been playing on a two-way deal that saw him shuttling between Golden State and the team’s G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
As Pool noted, Toscano-Anderson proved himself through plenty of hard work, earning himself a full NBA contract two months after turning 28. His versatility is seen as an asset to a team that often plays small lineups and values players who can play across positions.
“JTA quickly established himself, at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, as the team’s most versatile reserve, playing as many as four positions. He’s probably the most valuable backup, too, and is averaging 5.4 points per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.”
Toscano-Anderson’s grit and hustle were on display last month when he went crashing through the scorer’s table in an April loss to the Boston Celtics. Toscano-Anderson scrambled to save a long rebound and went airborne, sending the ball back to Jodan Poole who found Steph Curry for a wide-open three-pointer. Toscano-Anderson ended up with a head laceration and was sent to concussion protocol, but the play earned some big praise from his teammates and coach.
“That’s a competitor,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “Juan is a guy, you want that guy on your team.”
Deal Gives Warriors Options
Many insiders had predicted that the Warriors would eventually give Toscano-Anderson a full NBA contract when the team made two roster spots available at the trade deadline, shipping away Marquese Chriss and Brad Wanamaker for cash considerations. One of those spots had initially gone to guard Gary Payton II, but the team opted not to renew his 10-day contract.
As Brady Klopfer of Golden State of Mind noted, the move not only rewards Toscano-Anderson for his hard work, it also gives the team more options in terms of locking him down for the long-term.
“What does change is the Warriors ability to negotiate before free agency,” Klopfer noted. “Toscano-Anderson has worked his way into being a key part of the team going forward, and it’s likely that Golden State will structure a multi-year deal with him and lock him up for another year or two before this season ends.”
As Klopfer added, the new deal would change little for Toscano-Anderson this season. The NBA instituted new guidelines for two-way contracts that would have allowed him to play in playoff games this year. The 34-33 Warriors are currently in eighth place and appear destined for the league’s new four-team play-in tournament, which fills the final two spots in the eight-team playoff bracket.