An emergency fill-in for the Golden State Warriors has now earned a permanent place on their roster.
After the team lost three starters and three reserves to injuries and league’s health and safety protocol, the Warriors signed former Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon to a 10-day contract. He moved immediately into the rotation, scoring six points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting in a Christmas day win over the Phoenix Suns. Weatherspoon had already played an important role in helping prepare Klay Thompson for his return, and now will reportedly get a permanent spot with the team.
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Warriors Cut Guard, Use Final Two-Way Spot
As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported, the Warriors plan to use their final two-way contract on Weatherspoon. Golden State cut ties with Jeff Dowtin on Sunday, freeing up one of the team’s two-way roster spots.
The Warriors had initially signed Weatherspoon to a 10-day hardship deal after they were left without six regulars for the December 25 game against the Suns — with Andre Iguodala nursing an injury and Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee and Moses Moody in health and safety protocol.
Weatherspoon not only showed off a nice scoring touch against the Suns, he also did well with the difficult assignment to guard Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Weatherspoon said he was ready for the challenge because of the work he’s been doing with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors, where he has been helping Thompson in the final stages of his rehab from a torn Achilles.
“I kind of figured I was going to have to guard those people because I’ve been working with Klay [Thompson] for three weeks now and he’s been telling the organization how helping him and defending him to get him back better,” Weatherspoon said after the Christmas win, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So I kind of figured it was going to happen. I was just trying to stay ready, stay positive.”
Weatherspoon has also shown off his versatility in nine games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, averaging 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Warriors Roster Filling out Again
After a shorthanded stretch to end 2021, the Warriors are starting to piece their regular roster back together. The players lost on Christmas Day have since returned. Draymond Green, who played on Christmas before going into protocol himself, is set to return for the team’s January 3 game against the Miami Heat.
As The Athletic’s Anthony Slater noted, that gives the Warriors their full rotation back, with two more big additions yet to come. Second-year center James Wiseman is rehabbing from season-ending knee surgery last year, and Thompson is growing closer to his return to the court, with a date now circled on the schedule. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the team believes that Thompson will be able to play within the week.
Wojnarowski reported that “there’s optimism” within the organization that Thompson will make his season debut against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 9. He noted that final decision will be made after the team returns from back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday.