Saturday, August 6, 2022

Warriors rookie could play a significant role behind Steph Curry: Insider

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Midway through the second round of the NBA draft isn’t usually fertile ground for immediate players, but the Golden State Warriors could make Ryan Rollins an exception.

The Warriors made a significant rise on the draft board in June, giving the Atlanta Hawks $2 million to move up to the 44th pick so they could acquire the rights to the Toledo guard. Though Rollins was picked in an area where players often spend their first G League seasons or are hidden abroad, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau believes Rollins could slip straight into the Golden State rotation.

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In a profile of the 20-year-old guard, Letourneau noted that Rollins is “not your typical second-round player” and would appear to factor into Golden State’s roster plans for next season.

The Warriors’ commitment to Rollins was evident in the contract he signed on July 28. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Warriors had given him a three-year, $4.8 million contract, fully guaranteed for the first two seasons. The financial commitment seemed to demonstrate confidence in Rollins, and the roster composition could set the stage for him to move into the rotation, Letourneau wrote.

“Not only did the defending champion sign him to a three-year, $4.8 million deal Thursday, with the first two years fully guaranteed, but the Warriors also left as they have yet to give the 15-man roster a true backup Adding point guard opens a path for Rollins to earn meaningful minutes this season,” Letourneau noted.

The Warriors took an unusual path to the title last season, leaning on their trusted veterans while developing a group of promising young players who will form the team’s future core. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas believes Rollins can help in the short term and justifies their heavy investment to draft him.

“In today’s game, $2 million is a lot of money — but it’s not that much when you start talking about the money that’s being thrown around,” Bilas told NBC Sports Bay Area last week for the latest episode of the “dub.” Talk” podcasts . “Golden State is winning right now, so if you add another valuable piece, it’s worth the money.”

Bilas says Rollins’ skills could make him a bargain for the Warriors.

“He’s a big talent, a guy who was probably drafted, you could argue, under-funded,” Bilas said. “Long arms, really talented, athletic, with a really high basketball IQ. You plug it into this system and it will produce. He will be a reliable player.”

Rollins could also help ease the team’s financial crisis, Letourneau noted. The Warriors shouldered a huge bill last season with a record $346 in wages and luxury taxes, and couldn’t match the high-dollar bids made to free agents Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr., as well as veteran daemons Lee, Nemanja Bjelica and Juan Toscano-Anderson just are departed in free agency, which could pave the way for the younger – and cheaper – players to take on bigger roles in the coming season.

CONTINUE READING: Draymond Green Says Warriors Rookie Can Become ‘Consistent All-Star’

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