Warriors Make Final Roster Decision on 2x All-Star Guard: Report

Isaiah Thomas

Getty Isaiah Thomas drives for a layup in a game against the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors are using training camp as an open audition for the final roster spot, but a former All-Star guard who had gotten a strong look from the Warriors apparently isn’t getting an invite.

The Warriors this week signed a number of players who are expected to compete for the 15th and final roster spot, including some who had worked out for the team in recent weeks. One of the most high-profile players to get a look in recent weeks was not among that group, however.

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Warriors Set Camp Invites

In their quest to fill the final roster spot, the Warriors brought in former Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas to audition for a spot with the second unit backing up Steph Curry. Though there were reports that he had a strong workout, Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted that the Warriors ultimately decided to pass on Thomas.

“After a strong week of workouts with the Warriors, I’m told Isaiah Thomas left town without a deal commitment and the belief is he will seek out a more clear opportunity to make a team elsewhere, as the Warriors prioritize wing and frontcourt depth,” Slater tweeted on September 24.

That means the 31-year-old Thomas will need to bring his NBA comeback attempt elsewhere. He appeared in just three games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, and the previous season was in the regular rotation for the Washington Wizards, averaging 12.2 points per game. Thomas is now five years removed from his best season, the 2016-17 campaign with the Celtics where he averaged 28.9 points per game and earned an All-Star nod.

The Warriors are looking at a group of guards and wings for the final roster spot. The team this week signed Avery Bradley and Langston Galloway, and will also be bringing Gary Payton II and Mychal Mulder into training camp, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports reported.

Final Spot ‘Up in the Air’

The Warriors don’t appear to have a favorite to fill the final roster spot. Speaking to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami’s The TK Show, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said the competition in training camp will decide what direction the team chooses.

“The way we’re looking at it is that it’s up in the air,” Kerr said. “We may or may not use it, but that’s what training camp is for. You get a really good look at some guys, there are some really interesting names, people who are really proven players in the league. You get a chance to get a good look at those guys and some young guys who are trying to make it in the league.”

As Kerr mentioned, there is a possibility that no player wins the competition to join the Warriors roster. As Slater noted in The Athletic, the franchise is deep in the luxury tax and has shown a propensity for savings over the past two seasons. The team opted not to use the taxpayer midlevel exception last season or the designated player exception granted after Klay Thompson’s injury, and played much of last season with an open roster spot after trading away Marquese Chriss and Brad Wanamaker at the trade deadline. Slater said those “financially conscious moves” could be replicated this year if the team decides not to fill the final roster spot right away.

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