The Warriors sign JaMychal Green as a great backup

The Warriors sign JaMychal Green as a great backup

After the departures of Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica this summer, there have been questions about how the Golden State Warriors would round off their frontline rotation. Even with James Wiseman staying healthy in the Summer League while putting in better screens, and after the draft of the project big Patrick Baldwin Jr. in the first round of the draft, there was still a hole the size of Porter on the list, and that hole was lurking. behind the three-point line in the corner. Go to JaMychal Green.

The Oklahoma City Thunder bought Green from the Denver Nuggets earlier this offseason, along with a 2027 first-round pick, in exchange for the No. 30 pick of the draft (who became UCLA winger Peyton Watson). It was a confusing trade for OKC, who may have thought they could turn Green and his $ 8.2 million salary into a competitor who wanted Green’s mix of size, defense and competent shooting. Or maybe they thought three 2022 first-rounders were enough, and they wanted to take a flyer that Denver was bad in the 2026-27 season. In any case, they found no recipients, and with a list full of young prospects, the Thunder decided to buy out Green.

Thunder’s loss – and Denvers ‘- is the Warriors’ win, as Green is a perfect fit for a team that really needed a reliable veteran to play 15-20 minutes off the bench as a great backup. And the picks were extremely slim except for Green. Look at who was left in the free agent market:

  • 36-year-old LaMarcus Aldridge, who played exactly zero minutes for the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs last year against the Boston Celtics. In addition, at this point in his career, the LMA has been a full-time center for four years, not exactly a Belli / Porter replacement.
  • 38-year-old Carmelo Anthony, who even the Los Angeles Lakers decided was too old to sign again. Melo can still shoot threes, but that’s really all he can do, and he has fallen sharply from his desert-like defensive “top”.
  • Montrezl Harrell, who won the Sixth Man of the Year two years ago but has been swapped twice in the last 11 months, is currently facing charges of aggravated drug smuggling, although it honestly seems like three pounds of marijuana sounds as a reasonable amount for an NBA player in the low season. Harrell does not play defense either, he is only 6’7 “, and the Dubs have to question his IQ both on and off the field after the last few years. Is there no one in his entourage who can carry that weed for him?
  • Blake Griffin, who the Warriors only wanted to hire to guide Wiseman on how to rehabilitate knee injuries. Griffin’s various leg injuries mean he can barely get into a Kia these days, much less skip one. However, he would be an excellent addition to San Francisco’s stand-up comedy scene.
  • Dwight Howard, who … just no.

Honestly, it feels miraculous that a player of Green’s caliber was available three weeks into the free agency. He has enough size and mobility to cover the wings in no time, but it’s obviously not all game. Green’s shooting outside fell last year – only 27% from deep – but in the three previous seasons he shot 40%, 39% and 40% from deep. And while playing with good teammates in Denver, Los Angeles and Memphis, it is safe to say that he has never experienced the consistent wide-open shots that come from sharing the field with Steph Curry.

For his career, Green has an average of 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21 minutes per game, which makes up 37% of his threes. This is not a player who needs a lot of shots, but he can knock them down when the ball comes to him. And he is very effective in his shot selection – Warriors fans can expect almost all of his shots to come from behind the arc or within a few feet of the edge.

What else can Green do? He is a good returning player, and he has had success playing as a small ball center, including against the Warriors in the 2019 playoffs against the Clippers. He is not much of a pass, but he is a skilled defender who never lacks effort. Beyond that, he is easy to mess with. Green went out of Alabama in 2012, and fought his way into the NBA after two and a half years playing abroad, in the G League and in the Summer League before finally sticking with the Grizzlies in 2015. Just like Gary Payton II, or Juan Toscano-Anderson, Warriors loves players who joined the league.

This signing will not necessarily cut down on the minutes for Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga, but it does provide a huge dampening against injuries, or that young players are, well, inconsistent young players. In addition, if the Warriors match Denver in the playoffs, there is more motivation for Green – and a chance for Klay Thompson to shout, “They did not want you, JG!” before the series.

It’s not glamorous, but this is perhaps the best possible signing Warriors could have made for 14th place on their list. And with the final spot for Andre Iguodala, this essentially closes the book on the Warriors out of season, apart from the decision on the second two-way contract spot. All we know is that it will not be Forever Warrior Jeff Dotwin.

First OPJ, and now Dotwin. Masai Ujiri, for a copy.

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