Holding a net rating of -14.4 and with multiple players struggling individually, there's been plenty of speculation regarding potential changes to the Golden State Warriors' starting lineup.
It turns out Steve Kerr has had to make changes regardless, with two-time MVP Stephen Curry missing Tuesday night's loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to a knee injury. The 35-year-old will also miss Thursday night's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Warriors will now also be without veteran forward Draymond Green who was suspended for five games after his chokehold on Timberwolves' center Rudy Gobert.
Golden State Warriors' rookie Brandin Podziemski has been floated as a surprise inclusion to the starting lineup, even once Stephen Curry returns from injury.
With Curry out and Green and Klay Thompson ejected within the first two minutes, it was 19th overall pick Brandin Podziemski who shined despite Golden State's 104-101 loss to Minnesota.
The 6'4" guard made the most of his opportunities, earning 39 minutes after just 52 total through the first 11 games of the season. Podziemski led the Warriors in scoring, recording nine points in the first-quarter and 23 for the game.
The 20-year-old shot 9-18 from the floor and 3-8 from three-point range, while also adding seven rebounds, five assists and a steal. He was also a team-high +11 in the three-point loss.
Although Podziemski's performance on Tuesday may have been eye-catching, it's not a huge surprise given his previously strong impression in limited minutes early this season. The first-round pick is the new buzz in the Bay, and we're sure to see more of him going forward.
Speaking on the Warriors Plus-Minus podcast after the loss to Minnesota, The Athletic's Tim Kawakami even suggested that Podziemski could be elevated to the starting lineup in place of the struggling Andrew Wiggins.
"I think the move might be Podziemski in at two and Klay (Thompson) goes to three. Kerr even mentioned it last night, 'I can't wait to see Brandin with Steph and Klay'...he didn't say other names with that," Kawakami said."
Kawakami's colleague Marcus Thompson refuted the idea, suggesting it would be tough to move Podziemski into the starting unit above veteran point-guard Chris Paul. The 38-year-old will be starting in place of Curry regardless, although the two-time MVP's isn't expected to miss much time.
If there is one positive to be had, it's that head coach Steve Kerr does have options at his disposal. That surprisingly may include Podziemski who put his name in the forefront of minds with his starring performance against the Timberwolves.