Those hoping for confirmation on the Golden State Warriors 14th roster spot will have to wait a little longer, with head coach Steve Kerr confirming the franchise will evaluate the majority of training camp before making a decision.
The Warriors currently have five players on training camp deals, headlined by veterans Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder, along with younger prospects Javan Johnson, Donovan Williams and Kendric Davis. Three two-way contracted players — Lester Quinones, Usman Garuba and Jerome Robinson — could also push for the spot with impressive preseason performances.
With recent history showing its championship-altering importance, the Golden State Warriors won’t be rushed into making a decision on the 14th roster spot.
Asked about the looming decision at a press conference on Tuesday, Kerr outlined the importance of the decision and the potential impact it could have on the team’s championship aspirations.
"“We’ve been in this position alot and we usually let it play out across the course of camp, so why not take every day that you can to evaluate? I know two years ago Gary Payton was in that spot, Avery Bradley, they were both worthy of winning that final spot. Ultimately we gave it to Gary and he helped us win a championship,” Kerr said."
Kerr also pointed to previous players the Warriors had signed on the eve of the season, including Justin Holiday, Ian Clark and Quinn Cook. No one will have the impact Payton had though after winning his battle with Bradley, with the defensive menace averaging nearly 17 minutes per game during the 2022 playoffs despite being sidelined for a period with a fractured elbow.
It’s hard to envisage any of the current training camp competitors having a similar impact, with Gay potentially firming for the 14th spot based on his strong presence at media day on Monday.
Kerr explained that a team featuring Gay, Robinson, Garuba and McGruder (along with Brandin Podziemski) ‘dominated’ day one of scrimmages at the Warrior facility on Tuesday.
Golden State are expected to leave the 15th roster spot open for tax purposes, at least until later in the season should one of their two-way players make an undeniable case as Anthony Lamb did in 2022-23.