The Golden State Warriors want to keep Marquese Chriss, and if they do so, it may result in forward Alfonzo McKinnie being cut.
The next few weeks could be interesting for the Golden State Warriors.
Coming into training camp, it was understood that the Warriors’ roster was likely set. They had their 14 guys. But, they signed Marquese Chriss, a former lottery pick, and he’s performed well with the team. His deal was originally thought of as a training deal only.
He has built such comradery with his teammates that they’re now vouching for the team to keep him. At his point, it now seems like Chriss will undoubtedly be on the Warriors’ roster come opening night, which is just under two weeks away.
Unless the Warriors want to find a suitor for Omari Spellman or Jacob Evans III, it’ll likely be Alfonzo McKinnie who is cut. McKinnie is the team’s only partially guaranteed contract and could easily be shed.
However, it’s an odd situation given the lack of depth at the three.
The Warriors would then only have one true small forward, Glenn Robinson III. 6-foot-6 Alec Burks would likely slide to the backup forward role until Klay Thompson returns. That would then give more minutes to Jordan Polle behind D’Angelo Russell.
Spellman and Evans III both have higher ceilings than McKinnie. The two first-round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft had underwhelming rookie seasons, but both seem primed for a solid second year in the league.
Spellman has lost 40 pounds while Evans III showed flashes of potential during the Las Vegas Summer League. Additionally, with guaranteed contracts, they’d have to trade either of them, potentially also having to attach picks to any transaction.
So the Warriors would lose not only a second-year player but also a pick. That combination makes the cutting of McKinnie more likely. McKinnie had his chance to make a positive impact and failed the team this past postseason.
Kevin Durant was out, and McKinnie was in for the Finals.
During the six games in the NBA Finals, McKinnie averaged 10 minutes per game. He scored just two points per game on 31% from the field. This was McKinnie’s chance to really make his name known and solidify his spot on the roster.
Now, he’s the odd man out and could be cut in the coming weeks.