5 Santa Cruz Warriors Players That Deserve an NBA Call-Up

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dennis Clifford || C || 24 || 7’1″ || 260 lbs.

Santa Cruz Warriors
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

I would have never in a million years expected myself to be including Dennis Clifford in a list of the top-5 Santa Cruz Warriors players that should receive an NBA call-up. Coming out of Boston College nearly averaging a double-double, I didn’t expect him to be THIS good after going undrafted in 2016 and joining the Warriors as a local tryout.

In one of the rare times I’ve been proven wrong, Clifford has become a cornerstone in the Surf City system, averaging 12.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 27.0 minutes. He’s played in 25 games, shooting 60.5 percent from the field.

He’s one of the three guys tied for second on the team in PER (17.5), he’s tied with Elgin Cook in points per shot (1.6), he’s first in defensive rebounding percentage (24.2), second in effective field goal percentage (60.5), and third in true shooting percentage (62.3).

Clifford also leads the team in double-doubles (6) and defensive win shares (1.1), and he’s tied for second in win shares. He’s been a welcome surprise in Santa Cruz, and I’m sure a team needing some depth at the center position will take notice of Clifford’s growth sooner rather than later.