With two main roster spots and a pair of two-way contracts still available, the Golden State Warriors have some decisions to make ahead of their season opener against the Phoenix Suns on October 24.
Much of the obvious roster priorities surround the Warriors’ depth at the center position, with the forecast of more workload on Kevon Looney and Draymond Green should the franchise fail to unearth further options.
New free agent big man Usman Garuba would be a perfect signing for the Golden State Warriors on a two-way contract.
The list of free agent centers became bigger on Monday with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s announcement that they’re waiving Usman Garuba. The 6’8″ big man was traded twice earlier this offseason, firstly from the Houston Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks before a move to the Thunder.
After being taken with the 23rd overall pick in 2021, Garuba played 99 games and averaged 12.2 minutes across his first two seasons with the Rockets. Still eligible for a two-way deal, the Spanish international could garner plenty of interest across the league.
The 21-year-old plays well above his size, using his strong frame to be a presence on the glass where he averaged 1.6 offensive and 4.1 total rebounds per game last season. Offensively he’s shown signs of being an excellent passer, and is beginning to develop a perimeter shot having nailed 40.7% of his three-point attempts in 2022-23.
Although signing Garuba to the main roster is possible, it would come with undoubted risk particularly given the franchise’s recent history with young big men. There’s no guarantee he can have any sort of winning impact early on, and the Warriors probably have higher hopes for 23-year-old rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis regardless.
But on a two-way contract? The franchise would be hard pressed to find a better option with one of their remaining spots. Golden State already has exciting 22-year-old guard Lester Quinones penned to a two-way deal for 2023-24.
The franchise at least appears willing to have a look at young, two-way eligible centers. The Warriors have signed seven-foot Santa Cruz G League prospect Jayce Johnson to a training camp deal, and have completed workouts with former first-round pick Harry Giles III this offseason.