Kerr's comments suggest big man is on borrowed time at Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors Media Day
Golden State Warriors Media Day / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

As is the case for most NBA teams throughout an 82-game season, the Golden State Warriors have had to go to the depths of their roster at various points given injuries and other absences.

Someone like Lester Quinones, who started the season on a two-way contract, has seen playing time in each of the last 17 games. The 23-year-old's form was productive enough to warrant a conversion to a guaranteed contract last month, placing him on the Warriors' main roster.

Quinones led Golden State in scoring against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, with a number of younger role players seeing extended opportunity in the blowout loss. However, there was still one young player who wasn't part of the action.

Usman Garuba has played three games for the Golden State Warriors this season, leaving major question marks on his future with the franchise

Two-way contracted big man Usman Garuba has become somewhat of a forgotten man for the Warriors, having appeared in just three games and playing less than eight total minutes so far this season.

The former first-round pick played 99 career games for the Houston Rockets in his first two NBA seasons, yet has essentially been left to develop in the G League during his third.

Garuba has played 27 games in the G League this season, averaging 12.8 points on 61.3% shooting while adding 10.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. The 21-year-old had 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in Santa Cruz's 127-104 loss to the Mexico City Capitanes on Sunday.

Golden State are well stocked with Draymond Green, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Kevon Looney and Dario Saric, but could Garuba become a legitimate rotation piece for the franchise from next season and beyond?

Steve Kerr was asked about the Spaniard last week, and while the head coach had plenty of positives, he also suggested that Garuba may need to find his niche elsewhere should it not eventuate with the Warriors.

"I think that at the moment 'Usi' has to play as a '5' unless he has a big player and shooter at his side. He could play as a '4' if he has a five at his side. But he has to refine his game and find his niche, whether with our team or with another."

Steve Kerr on Usman Garuba

Garuba may have the talent to make it as an NBA player, but it's not necessarily a great sign when the head coach is suggesting it may have to happen at a different team. That's also just the brutal reality of where the franchise is at, with Jackson-Davis evidently the young big who will prioritized as a player for the future (not to mention the present).

Garuba has averaged 2.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 11.9 minutes per game across his three-year career. He signed a two-way deal with the Warriors after being waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the offseason.