Warriors’ Steve Kerr Cops to Having Major Roster Concern

Draymond Green Kevon Looney

Getty Draymond Green and Kevon Looney react during a playoff bout between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks.

Regardless of whether Stephen Curry returns to the court in Phoenix on Tuesday or in the Alamo City on Friday, the simple fact that his comeback is finally upon us is incredible news for the Golden State Warriors. Alas, Curry’s absence is far from the only one the Dubs have had to deal with.

For their part, Andrew Wiggins and Andre Iguodala only just made their own hardwood returns. And James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and JaMychal Green are still out of commission with various ailments. Those particular absences are having a significant impact on the team, too.

The resulting wear and tear on Draymond Green and Kevon Looney — who have been called upon to hold the frontcourt down more or less by themselves amid the injuries — has left Warriors coach Steve Kerr feeling incredibly anxious.

“I’m concerned about Draymond and Loon right now,” said Kerr on Monday, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “They’ve been playing such heavy minutes with the number of bigs who have been out over the last few weeks.”

Steve Kerr Has Counted on Draymond Green & Kevon Looney to Help Keep the Dubs Afloat

Entering the 2022-23 season, there was a thought that this could end up being one of the deepest Warriors teams of the dynastic era. Clearly, that depth isn’t there with the youngsters still in need of seasoning, however. And the injuries have made matters worse, especially in a frontcourt that’s ultra-thin compared to other position groups.

Kerr has been impressed with how his (not-so) big men have managed the situation, though.

“I’m really proud of them, of that whole group, but of Loon and Draymond in particular, given the circumstances,” Kerr said. “What they’ve done for us the last couple weeks, keeping us afloat, has been really impressive.”

Perhaps no game exemplified what the two have accomplished recently as well as the Warriors’ January 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks. For his part, Green played a season-high 45 minutes in the game and put up five points, 13 boards, 11 assists, three blocks and two steals.

Looney, meanwhile, added 14 points, 20 rebounds, four assists (with zero turnovers) and a block in 32 minutes of action. He also got the game-winning bucket on a total effort play.

Warriors Offseason Graded

Team president Bob Myers definitely deserves some blame for the Warriors being so thin up front. Injuries may be largely out of anyone’s control and a lot of people had faith that the Dubs’ lottery trio could break out this season, but his free-agency strategy clearly hasn’t paid off as anyone had hoped.

So, it should come as no surprise that Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz just gave the team a middling C+ grade in his look back on what all of the NBA‘s teams did over the summer. He was particularly critical of the Green signing and the team’s selection of Patrick Baldwin Jr. (!!) in the draft.

Wrote Swartz:

Green is out with an infection in his right leg but has been a solid backup big throughout most of the season with 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in his 14.9 minutes per game. We’ll see how long he can hold off Jonathan Kuminga, the second-year forward who’s seen an increase in minutes over the past month-and-a-half.

Baldwin has appeared in just 13 games thus far and hasn’t even looked that great during his time in the G League (10.6 points on 43.5 percent shooting overall). The 20-year-old isn’t a rotation member for a team with championship aspirations just yet.