The Golden State Warriors have made a bold decision in regard to their opening night roster, with veterans Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder waived in the immediate aftermath of the team’s final preseason game.
First reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Friday night, the Warriors decision leaves them with just 13 players on their main roster ahead of their season opener against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
The Golden State Warriors decision to leave two roster spots open is a bold but right call on the eve of the NBA season.
Golden State have clearly prioritized roster and financial flexibility, ultimately believing that neither Gay or McGruder were going to have enough impact to make a signing worthwhile.
The 37-year-old Gay played 15 total minutes in the opening two preseason games against the Los Angeles Lakers, yet failed to earn any playing time in the final three games. McGruder began the preseason in concussion protocols, before returning to play 20 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.
McGruder was active throughout his minutes, finishing with eight points and five rebounds but shot just 3-9 from the floor and 1-6 from three-point range.
Golden State’s decision must also derive from faith in their younger players, all of whom impressed over the preseason. Jonathan Kuminga was the standout as arguably the Warriors best player across the five games, while fellow third-year player Moses Moody capped impressive early form with a team-high 18 points on 7-11 shooting against the Spurs.
Rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis proved they could play a role if called upon, particularly the latter who performed admirably against All-Star Domantas Sabonis in his first NBA start against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
Along with 13 players on the main roster, head coach Steve Kerr will also have access to two-contracted trio Lester Quinones, Usman Garuba and Jerome Robinson throughout the regular season.