The Golden State Warriors changed up their lineup in the team’s second preseason game. Could this be a telltale sign of what’s to come?
While it could be meaningless, it seems the Golden State Warriors few lineup changes warrant at least some conversation. Steve Kerr made two changes. He inserted Glenn Robinson III and Marquese Chriss into the starting lineup.
There was no Kevon Looney. There was no Willie Cauley-Stein. That said, it’s apparent that Chriss was Kerr’s favorite big man given that his only other choices were second-year forward Omari Spellman or rookie Eric Paschall.
The team has lobbied for Chriss to secure a roster spot. That’s why his addition to the starting lineup is so notable. It’s also notable that Robinson III replaced McKinnie, who is the only one of the 14 Warriors on a non-guaranteed contract.
The Warriors could waive him if they wanted to free up the cap space for Chriss. Given the performance of Robinson III in the starting lineup, it seems like a feasible solution, but that could just be a serious overreaction to a preseason game.
Spellman, who could’ve been the starting center, wasn’t overly impressive either. The Warriors’ 143 points allowed the wealth to spread throughout the roster, but Spellman was just 2-for-6 with seven points in 19 minutes. He did chip in four rebounds and four assists.
Chriss was much better, racking in 8 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks in 25 minutes. If it’s between Chriss and Spellman, it seems the edge has to be given to the former lottery pick. However, that’ just speculation for now.
The same can be said of Chriss vs. McKinnie. However, McKinnie is able to gain some leeway as the small forward position is especially thin with Klay Thompson out. McKinnie’s minutes will provide depth behind Robinson III who may lock up the starting three spot.
Overall, if Chriss stays, it’ll likely be either McKinnie or Spellman finding a new NBA home. That said, it seems both are on the hot seat and the rest of the camp could determine how the roster is filled out.
At the same time, we may just be severely overreacting to a preseason game and Chriss could still be on the outside looking in. Time will tell if this lineup change was a telltale sign of what’s to come. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on the play of Chriss, Spellman and McKinnie moving forward.