The Golden State Warriors have made a new signing, adding shooting-guard Rodney McGruder to a training camp deal as part of their upcoming battle for the 14th roster spot.
Reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Monday, the 6’4″ wing is coming off three seasons with the Detroit Pistons where he was a productive shooting threat off the bench. Having gone undrafted in 2013, McGruder previously played with the Warriors in the 2014 Summer League.
The comedic value of Rodney McGruder’s signing with the Golden State Warriors will be lost on no one after an altercation in 2021.
McGruder was involved in an incident with Golden players late in a game at a crowd-less Chase Center in 2021. On special commentary as he recovered from his torn achilles, Warrior sharpshooter Klay Thompson roasted McGruder by stating, “this dude might be out of the league soon, he’s probably mad about that”.
In the press conference afterwards, veteran forward Draymond Green also blasted McGruder who on the night had played just over six minutes in his team’s 118-91 loss.
"“When the f–k did Rodney McGruder become the tough guy? I don’t know, man; everybody in the league tough these days…Walking over there talking s–t like he a tough guy. Get the hell outta here. F–king tough guy Rodney. Tough guy”."
If training camp wasn’t going to be awkward enough after that incident, the fact it also centered around former Warrior Juan Toscano-Anderson adds another layer to the story. The 2022 NBA champion has been around the franchise this offseason and is expected to battle with McGruder for the 14th spot.
On the floor, McGruder has been a sniper of sorts in recent seasons albeit in limited minutes. He shot 42.3% from deep on three attempts per game last season, 39.7% on 2.9 attempts in 2021-22, and 45.8% on 1.5 attempts in 2020-21.
McGruder’s best season came in 2018-19 with the Miami Heat where he averaged 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.5 minutes per game. He started 45 games in that season, shooting the ball at 35.1% from three-point range.
While Golden State’s signing of McGruder is somewhat surprising given their history, it also makes plenty of sense after The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported on Friday that “an extra wing has become the top priority” for the franchise.