By acquiring D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade, the Warriors hard-capped themselves for the rest of the season. That’s why Golden State signing Marquese Chriss to an unguaranteed contract seemingly carried little significance. For Chriss to make the regular-season roster, the Warriors would have to trade someone with a guaranteed salary or waive Alfonzo McKinnie, who might start at small forward.
But Chriss has drawn a backing.
Not long after the Warriors’ first preseason game, there was a meeting somewhere in the bowels of Chase Center. It wasn’t a meeting, sources said, as much as it was a petition, a reiteration, an emphasis, to Warriors general manager Bob Myers. The request was simple in scope. Yet, it was also profound, considering it included an important voice in the locker room, considering it was about a player many have given up on.
The request? Get Marquese Chriss on this team.
Thompson doesn’t name that “important voice in the locker room,” but quotes Draymond Green:
“I think he’s been great all training camp,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been on a couple teams, and everybody has kind of written him off. But he’s been amazing in camp, and to me it looked like he’s figuring it out and he’s turning a corner.”
Green – who has touted his salary-cap savviness – should realize how difficult it’d be to keep Chriss.
Chriss was also available at the unguaranteed minimum for a reason. The No. 8 pick in the 2016 NBA draft, he has some raw tools. But he has been so undisciplined with the Suns, Rockets and Cavaliers.
In the Warriors’ preseason opener against the Lakers, Chriss had eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 14 minutes. That’s not enough to make much judgment, especially considering the far longer track record of dismal regular-season production. Perhaps, the 22-year-old Chriss has shown more signs of progress behind the scenes.
I still doubt Chriss makes the regular-season roster. If he doesn’t, we’ll see how that goes over with the “important voice in the locker room.”
If Chriss does make it, Golden State faces another interesting roster move to clear room.