1. Juan Toscano-Anderson
Of the six players the franchise plan to hold workouts with over the next two weeks, Toscano-Anderson would have to be the clear preference among Warrior fans. Having been born in Oakland, he is a loved figure in the Bay Area whose story is one of perseverance and hard work.
Toscano-Anderson didn’t get his first opportunity in the league until Golden State’s disastrous 2019-20 season where he averaged nearly 21 minutes in 13 games. He clearly showed enough for the franchise to want to see more, with the 6’6″ forward winning a two-way contract with the team ahead of the 2020-21 season.
In May 2021 Toscano-Anderson was converted to a standard contract and the following season appeared in 73 games during the Warriors championship year. He averaged 4.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 13.6 minutes per game, before appearing in 14 games during the postseason.
Toscano-Anderson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason in a move that failed to reap too many benefits for either player or franchise. He was traded to the Utah Jazz in February, playing 22 games but without any great impact.
The 30-year-old’s spot as the number one option here isn’t because of his on-court contributions. The reality is that these six players are all fairly uninviting, and none of them are likely to offer too much on the hardwood for the Warriors next season.
While Toscano-Anderson’s impact from an off-court cultural perspective is hard to value, there’s little doubt the franchise lost something with his departure 12 months ago. He brought a joy and infectious attitude that Golden State lost and were never able to rediscover in a tumultuous 2022-23 season.
On the court Toscano-Anderson could actually be the kind of forward insurance the Warriors need. He knows the system and is a well respected teammate — needing 5-10 minutes from him every so often shouldn’t be a disaster.
At the same time, he’s not the sort of player that’s going to demand playing time over the likes of Jonathan Kuminga who Golden State want to provide opportunities for next season. A bigger name veteran may do that, potentially stalling the third-year forward’s development and/or impacting team chemistry negatively.
Toscano-Anderson is the ultimate professional and bringing him back into the fold may prove an undervalued winning move. Essentially he would be taking on the role left by Andre Iguodala, just with less career accolades but with more scope for on-court impact.