The Golden State Warriors made a major call on rookie pair Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis on Friday, deciding to assign the duo to their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
With the Warriors still holding just 13 fully-contracted players on their roster, it’s a bold call as they look to provide further playing time and development for the 19th and 57th overall picks.
Some have been left frustrated by the Golden State Warriors decision to send their rookies to the G League ahead of a four-game road-trip.
Golden State played the first of four consecutive road games in Oklahoma City on Friday, with the franchise securing its fifth-straight win thanks to a game-winning layup from Stephen Curry with 0.2 seconds remaining.
The NBA G League season will tip off next Friday with the Santa Cruz Warriors to meet the Stockton Kings at Kaiser Permanente Arena. That will signal the first night of a back-to-back, with the Warriors to host the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday.
Podziemski and Jackson-Davis had limited playing time through their five active games, but did see significant action against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. Jackson-Davis, in particular, was impressive with 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in less than 20 minutes.
Having had four years of college experience and at 23-years-old, many believe the 6’8″ big man could play a more significant role with Golden State. His absence against the Thunder, and Kevon Looney’s three first-half fouls, meant more minutes for Draymond Green at center.
Podziemski had five points, eight rebounds and two assists against the Pelicans, but may find it harder to earn regular minutes with the hall-of-fame backcourt trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Chris Paul.
Even beyond their potential on-court production, Green alluded to the missing energy on the Warrior bench during the team’s 141-139 win over the Thunder on Friday.
"“I also think our young fellas not being here, Trayce and BP and Lester, the energy that they bring to this team. We missed that. Next time we have an In-Season Tournament game, we need those guys here,” Green said in the postgame."
With Podziemski and Jackson-Davis inactive, two-way pair Jerome Robinson and Usman Garuba were suited up and available but unsurprisingly weren’t utilized by head coach Steve Kerr. The Warriors now travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Sunday.