Warriors’ Summer League Star Has Inside Track to Roster Spot: Report

Mac McClung

Getty Mac McClung drives to the hoop during a Golden State Warriors Summer League game.

For the second season in a row, the Golden State Warriors will be using training camp as a tryout for their final roster spots — and for the second straight year, an athletic G League guard may have the inside track.

The Warriors held an open competition last year for the 15th roster spot, which ultimately led to Gary Payton II taking the team’s final spot on the roster and going on to play a key role in their title run. Golden State is expected to take the same approach this year, and Summer League standout Mac McClung may have an advantage this time.

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McClung to Compete

McClung signed on to the Warriors’ Summer League roster after second-round draft pick Ryan Rollins was lost with a fractured foot, and made the most of his opportunity. Through four games in Las Vegas, he averaged 13.3 points per game while making 50 percent of his 3-pointers. McClung also shined in the G League last season, averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game for the South Bay Lakers while earning Rookie of the Year honors.

This week, McClung earned a one-year contract with the Warriors. As Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle noted, the contract gives McClung a chance to compete at training camp for one of the team’s remaining roster spots. Letourneau noted that the Warriors took this approach last year, when Payton competed with veteran guard Avery Bradley and others in training camp.

“To clarify, Mac McClung is a training-camp invite for the Warriors,” he tweeted. “No guarantees he makes the 15-man roster. Still, McClung should have a chance — just like Avery Bradley and GPII did a year ago.”

But Letourneau believes that McClung has an advantage given the Warriors’ roster makeup this year. The team lost two reserve guards in Payton and Damion Lee, and McClung could provide some much-needed depth.

“But nothing is for sure, and the Warriors will bring in a few other players to go against McClung,” he wrote. “That being said, I think McClung has an inside track on some sort of contract — whether that be a two-way or a guaranteed deal. The Warriors need a backup point guard, and McClung, a much-better facilitator than many realize, might be a more intriguing option than anyone available on a minimum deal.”

Growing Competition

There could be some tight competition for the final roster spots. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on July 22 that the team signed undrafted Purdue center Trevion Williams, who had a strong showing for the Boston Celtics in Summer League. Williams signed an Exhibit 10 contract that also serves as a ticket to training camp. The Warriors also re-signed guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who had received a qualifying offer.

Letourneau noted there is a possibility that the Warriors could find another player on a minimum contract before training camp, but it’s likely that the 14th roster spot goes to either McClung or Weatherspoon.

As for the 15th and final roster spot, that could depend on whether their veteran leader decides to return, Letourneau wrote.

“The big X-factor to all of this is Andre Iguodala, who has yet to tell the Warriors whether he’ll be back next season. My understanding is that, if he decides not to retire this summer, Golden State would welcome him back on another minimum,” Letourneau wrote.

“His leadership abilities are worth the price, even if he seldom plays. If Iguodala comes back, McClung’s chances of finding a spot with the Warriors drop considerably.”

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