Saturday, August 6, 2022

Steve Kerr talks Warriors’ new offseason additions

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Last season, the Golden State Warriors reclaimed their place at the top of the NBA world. They returned to stardom after two breaks through injury, and it looked like they never left. They defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, winning in six games.

However, they couldn’t keep their entire core from last year’s team. Their main characters are all back – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney – but some of their fringe players have remained free.

Gary Payton II left the Warriors to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers and earned a pretty big payday in the process. The same applies to Otto Porter Jr., who has signed a contract with the Toronto Raptors. In addition, Nemanja Bjlecia moved abroad and signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce.

That being said, the Warriors quickly replaced those two players. They’ve signed guard Donte DiVincenzo as he’s likely to step into Payton’s role. In addition, they signed a contract with JaMychal Green after it was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In a recent interview with The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, head coach Steve Kerr explained the role the team’s newcomers will play next season.

For Green, Kerr expects he will replace both Porter and Bjleica to some extent. Both played pivotal roles for the Warriors during the regular season and playoffs, and Green needs to step up and fill that void.

“He’s the logical replacement for Otto and Beli,” explained Kerr. “One guy replaces two. He is able to play any role, the four or the five. When playing with Draymond, he can stretch the ground and guard the five while Draymond guards the four. It gives us flexibility on the apron.”

In addition, Kerr also said he expects Green to shoot the ball a little better next year. Green shot 26.6% from three-point range with the Denver Nuggets last year, but Kerr thinks players shoot better when they join the Warriors.

“I am very confident that he will shoot the ball well. Players generally shoot the ball better with us I think,” Kerr said. “That’s not always true. But the space that Steph and Klay give them along with Draymond’s death. You saw it with Otto and Gary last year. I think JaMychal will love playing with our boys.”

As for DiVincenzo, Kerr has the most faith in him.

With Payton leaving the Warriors, DiVincenzo should have a chance to play some big minutes. Kerr believes he will fit perfectly into the current rotation of players.

“Donte fits our style of play perfectly,” Kerr said. “The ball movement, the cutting. He’s a great tailor. It’s a really good spot-up shooter. He is a good passer on the move. It’s not just a spot-up shooter. He is a secondary playmaker. Quite bouncy but with a great feel to the game. It will fit right in.”

With so many young players the Warriors have on the roster, minutes are not guaranteed. But as much as Kerr thinks of DiVincenzo and Green, they should have serious chances of earning a regular spot in the lineup.

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