Warriors Rumors: Hot-Shooting Overseas Prospect Could Return, Make Roster

Justinian Jessup

Getty Justinian Jessup takes a shot in an NBL game.

The Golden State Warriors are looking to big man James Wiseman back with the start of next season, and one insider believes they could have another 2020 draft pick on the roster as well.

The Warriors picked Boise State sharpshooter Justinian Jessup with the No. 51 overall pick that season and kept close tabs as he spent the last two seasons with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s NBL. Jessup will be returning to play on Golden State’s Summer League team again after scoring 12.4 points with 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in his five games in Las Vegas last season. This time around, Jessup could remain stateside after the summer league comes to an end.

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Back to Golden State

After Thursday’s NBA Draft, Warriors reporter Brian Witt predicted that Jessup would get a two-way contract for next season that gives him the chance to play both for Golden State and the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

The Warriors kept a close eye on Jessup as he showed steady improvement throughout his last season, noted Hawks co-owner and president Dorry Kordahi.

“It’s a positive that Golden State continues to show interest in Justinian and are still having meetings around his progression and development,” Kordahi told the Herald Sun.

“His defense has improved a lot, and while he still has some way to go, he has the ability to play in the NBA. The Warriors coming out here to see him play is also a testament to his improvement and the strength of the NBL’s Next Stars program.”

Roster Decisions for Golden State

Along with Jessup’s potential return, the Warriors may also need to find spots for the rookies selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft. While the team is expected to draft-and-stash Brazilian forward Gui Santos taken with the No. 55 pick, the other two picks could play more significant roles. The team landed a prospect in first-round pick Patrick Baldwin Jr., and traded their No. 51 overall pick along with $2 million to the Atlanta Hawks to land Toledo guard Ryan Rollins at No. 44.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke highly of Rollins, hinting that he could soon be part of the rotation.

“It wasn’t like we had to get a backup guard, as much as it was we think this guy is very talented and we want to grab him on our roster,” Myers told reporters after the draft. “We talked about could he play with Poole? Who could he play with?

“At the end of the day, we saw a talent. And we didn’t think he’d be there at No. 51. Thankfully, [team owner Joe Lacob] agreed and said you can spend the $2 million and go get him. That was the logic behind it.”

The Warriors also have some other roster decisions to make this offseason, with a number of key rotational players headed to unrestricted free agency. That group includes guard Gary Payton II and big men Otto Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney, who all played important roles in the team’s run to a fourth title in the last eight seasons.

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