As Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala move onto pastures new, the Golden State Warriors now face uncertainly at the small forward position.
It is expected that Golden State Warriors 6-foot-7 shooting guard Klay Thompson will fulfil the role once he returns from injury. However, that leaves the question who fulfil the role in the meanwhile.
McKinnie’s experience with the Dubs may pay dividends. After earning Steve Kerr’s trust last season, the former Wisconsin-Green Bay alum not only earned a roster spot, he was actually was entrusted with a starting role on a few occasions.
McKinnie enjoyed a solid regular season considering his emergence came as a surprise, with a 19 point, 10 rebound double-double against the Chicago Bulls proving to be a highlight.
Throughout the season McKinnie impressed the Dubs with his commitment on defense, his ability to clean the offensive glass and perhaps most significantly with his energy and athleticism.
The former Wisconsin-Green Bay alum proved to be reasonably effective offensively too, shooting 48% from the field and 35% from deep during the regular season.
However, it was McKinnie’s length and speed that always made him a factor on the defensive end that arguably proved to be his biggest asset.
In addition to Iguodala and Durant leaving, Thompson is likely to miss at least half of the season, leaving wing options extremely scarce. McKinnie’s defense will prove beneficial to the Warriors even if his offensive upside is limited.
However, McKinnie’s failed to cement his place after a poor postseason averaging a mere 32% from downtown and just three points. That opens up the possibility for Robinson III to start the season at small forward.
Although Robinson III’s skillset may well be better suited to Coach Kerr’s system, Kerr’s trust and faith in McKinnie may actually give Alfonso the edge in the end. One thing is for certain though the race is wide open.