Golden State Warriors should experiment with Damion Lee more often

Santa Cruz Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)
Santa Cruz Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors, who don’t get much additional shooting from their bench, should give Damion Lee a chance.

One of two players signed to a two-way contract, Damion Lee, the brother-in-law of Stephen Curry, has proven he can shoot. For the Golden State Warriors, that should be enough to get him a few minutes on the team’s main roster.

After all, they are in the bottom five in bench scoring and bench three-point shooting.

As for Lee, he was signed this offseason after playing with the Atlanta Hawks for a handful of games last season. He’d also previously signed a contract with the Boston Celtics yet that shot sting amounted to nothing.

This season, Lee has played 21 games for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State G-League affiliate and 18 for the Golden State Warriors.

During his 21 games with Santa Cruz, he’s averaged nearly 20 points per game, shooting 47% from the field including 1.8 threes per game. He’s also tacked on six rebounds and two assists per game. Those are pretty impressive offensive numbers for the 26-year-old.

For Golden State, he averaged 5.1 points per game. Although he’s averaging 15.2 points per 36 minutes, it’s Lee’s defensive that oftentimes allows him to be forgotten about. Of players that’ve seen time in at least 20 games, Lee has the third-worst defensive rating.

However, the Warriors, although Alfonzo McKinnie and Quinn Cook have the worst, still find time to get them minutes. So, while he might not be the perfect backup for Klay Thompson, Lee may be a better option than any of the guards on the buyout market this year.

In his 18 games, Lee has boasted a better true shooting percentage than Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson. While not an elite option from the field, Lee does score with some level of efficiency.

With an effective field goal percentage over 60% on shots when he has the ball less than two seconds, Lee’s proven to be a great catch-and-shoot player. That’s his niche. With ball-dominant players like Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry, Lee must find a way to separate himself.

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Not being a defensive liability and knocking down open jumpers will be how Lee finds time when he gets his next opportunity at the highest level.