The Golden State Warriors will have an open competition at training camp to fill the final roster spot, but it appears that big men — including one big name rumored to be a target — need not apply.
The team has loaded up on guards and wing players to compete for the 15th and final roster spot, which is currently open. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr shed some light on the team’s plans this week, saying they are intentionally looking for smaller and faster players.
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Former Lakers Star Likely Not a Target
As the Warriors were holding workouts and looking at players who could earn the final roster spot, Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted that former Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol could be “a name to watch.” Slater pointed out that Gasol has been staying in Spain while he figured out the next phase of his career.
“Gasol nearly signed with the Warriors last summer — and might have done so had Thompson not ruptured his Achilles before free agency,” Slater wrote. “It may never materialize, but he has the exact passing acumen and center skill set that has traditionally fit (head coach Steve) Kerr’s offense best, similar to David West and Andrew Bogut.”
The Warriors appear to have shut the door on this idea, however. Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic that the team is not looking to add another center, even though second-year player James Wiseman will not be able to fully participate in the beginning of training camp, leaving Kevon Looney as the only healthy true center on the roster.
“I think the league has changed quite a bit,” Kerr said. “I know if you look at our teams historically over the last six, seven years we’ve always carried a lot of centers. But think about the last part of last season. We played Draymond at five so much. We even played Juan (Toscano-Anderson) at five. The league seems to be getting smaller and quicker every single year. So I think we’re less inclined to carry a bunch of centers like we used to.”
Gasol could still be attractive to a team less averse to adding big men, as he averaged 5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game with the Lakers last season while connecting on 41 percent of his three-pointers.
Warriors Paring Down Options
With the September 28 start of the training camp just around the corner, the Warriors have been zeroing in on the players who will be in competition for the final roster spot. The team this week signed Avery Bradley and Langston Galloway, who will also be competing with Gary Payton II and incumbent spot-holder Mychal Mulder.
Gasol was not the only rumored target to lose out on the chance to compete for the roster. Slater noted on Twitter that Isaiah Thomas did not get a commitment from Golden State, even though he turned in a strong workout with the team earlier in the week.
There is also the chance that the Warriors choose none of those players. Speaking to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami’s The TK Show, Kerr said that the team may choose not to fill the spot, a strategy similar to last season when the Warriors created an open roster spot after the trade deadline.