Alfonzo McKinnie

Warriors Notes: Chriss, McKinnie, Hard Cap, Curry

A few Warriors players have asked general manager Bob Myers to find a spot for Marquese Chriss on the roster, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Chriss made an immediate impact Saturday in Golden State’s first preseason game with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes. He also fills a need for a team that’s dealing with injuries to big men Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein.

But keeping Chriss won’t be easy. The Warriors are severely limited because of a hard cap that came along with the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell. To hold onto Chriss, they will have to either trade one of their 13 guaranteed salaries or waive Alfonzo McKinnie, whose $1,588,231 contract is non-guaranteed. A two-way deal is theoretically possible, but Chriss didn’t sign an Exhibit 10 contract, so he’d have to clear waivers for that to happen.

“I’ve heard good things, positive things from the coaches,” Chriss said. “I’m just trying to stay open-minded and keep being coached. Whether or not it works out here, I was able to come here and learn some things that I would be able to take other places. I think at the end of the day, my goal was to show them that this was where I should be and put the pressure on them.”

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • McKinnie is engaged in a three-way competition for the starting small forward slot, notes Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area. He’s battling Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, who both signed as free agents over the summer. Poole suggests that McKinnie has the edge because of his experience with the team, but he may have slipped with a poor first preseason game in which he made just one of four 3-pointers and finished at minus-23.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at the hard cap and the effects it will have on the Warriors throughout the season. The team is already within $407,257 of the $138,928,000 figure, which means they can’t add a 15th player to the roster until March 3, when a pro-rated minimum salary will become small enough to fit. Slater notes that once that date arrives, Golden State could reach out to Andrew Bogut again when his Australian season is complete.
  • Stephen Curry told reporters today that he hasn’t determined how the NBA’s standoff with China will affect his Under Armour tours of the nation going forward, tweets Logan Murdock of NBC Sports.

Western Notes: McKinnie, Cauley-Stein, Silva, Grant

Willie Cauley-Stein will likely start at center for the Warriors but Kevon Looney will probably play more crunch-time minutes, Anthony Slater of The Athletic opines. Alfonzo McKinnie may get the nod at small forward with Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in reserve, since McKinnie is a high energy player who should mesh well with the backcourt of Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell, Slater continues. However, rookie Eric Paschall is a darkhorse candidate to play down the stretch due to his versatility, Slater adds.

We have from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors preferred Cauley-Stein to DeMarcus Cousins even before Cousins committed to the Lakers, Slater writes in the same mailbag story. Cauley-Stein provided a younger option who better fit their new priorities, according to Slater. However, they never really had a decision to make because they were hard-capped after the sign-and-trade for Russell with the Nets was agreed upon. The hard cap meant the Warriors couldn’t give Cousins a max raise up to $6.4MM, Slater notes. Cauley-Stein agreed to join the Warriors on a two-year contract on July 2 and officially signed on July 8.
  • Pelicans draft-and-stash prospect Marcos Louzada Silva – aka Didi Louzada — has developed a solid perimeter jumper that should translate well to the NBA game, according to a Heavy.com story. The 6’5” guard can also attack the rim and has shown good strides in his development in recent months. Louzada, the 35th overall pick in June who was acquired in a draft-day deal, will play in Australia with the Sydney Kings during the upcoming season.
  • Jerami Grant should be an ideal frontcourt complement to Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic opines. Grant, projected as the top big off the bench, is a nimble perimeter defender who can guard ball-handlers. Grant, acquired from the Thunder for a protected first-round pick, is also a solid help defender who can block shots.
  • Jared Cunningham will work out for the Warriors on Tuesday, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets. Cunningham, a shooting guard who recently worked out for the Rockets, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2015/16 season.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Draft, Thompson, Summer League

Kevin Durant is doing “a lot of soul searching” as he decides whether to stay with the Warriors or leave for the Knicks or Nets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on tonight’s draft preview show (hat tip to Real GM). Woj adds that all three teams are willing to give Durant a max offer even though he is expected to miss all of next season with a ruptured Achilles.

New York has been considered the strongest threat to take Durant away from Golden State, but tonight’s report indicates that he is also giving serious consideration to Brooklyn, where he likely can join forces with his close friend Kyrie Irving. With at least three max offers awaiting, it’s virtually certain that Durant will opt out of his $31.5MM salary for next season.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • GM Bob Myers tells Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News that he will focus on talent over need in tomorrow’s draft, even though the team suddenly has a lot of holes to fill. In addition to Durant, who may not be back at all, Golden State has to replace Klay Thompson, who will miss most of the year with a torn ACL, and possibly free agent big men DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell“Good young players, whatever position they are,” will be the focus, Myers said. “Those players have the most value in the NBA – rookie contract players that show themselves to have a skill and can play. Especially next year, we afford more opportunity for who we pick. Maybe we get a guy who can step in. We will have more opportunity next year. No matter what happens in free agency, we’ll have more of an opportunity for a young guy.” The Warriors have also become more likely to buy extra picks, Myers said.
  • Thompson is waiting for the swelling in his knee to subside before having surgery, Medina adds. Myers didn’t offer any medical update on Durant, whose surgery was last week.
  • Alen Smailagic is a strong candidate to go to Golden State with the No. 58 pick, according to Medina. The Serbian big man spent this season with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
  • Jacob Evans will be part of Golden State’s Summer League team, Myers tells Medina, while Alfonzo McKinnie, who has a $1.6MM team option for next season, won’t play but will be training in Las Vegas.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Conference Finals

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the conference finals:

Patrick McCaw, Raptors, 23, SG (Down) — Signed to a one-year, $786K deal in 2019
McCaw’s season has been a head-scratcher. He leveraged his way out of Golden State, signed a non-guaranteed offer sheet with Cleveland, got cut loose shortly thereafter and then signed a minimum contract with Toronto. He may get his wish to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but no one will be knocking down his door on July 1. He suffered a thumb injury late in the regular season, was ineffective in some postseason appearances, and has missed the last couple of games for “personal reasons.” McCaw might not even find a guaranteed offer this summer.

George Hill, Bucks, 33, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $57MM deal in 2017
Hill’s $18MM salary becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster July 1. The Bucks have too many free agent concerns to bring him back at that number, but Hill has reinforced that he’s a solid rotation player after a disappointing regular season. Hill averaged 14.2 PPG in the conference semis against Boston. Throwing out his Game 1 clunker against Toronto and he’s averaged 13.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.0 APG over the past four games, hitting some clutch baskets along the way. He’ll attract attention on the open market, though he’ll have to settle for less than his previous deal.

Alfonzo McKinnie, Warriors, 26, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.7MM deal in 2018
Seems like every role player that coach Steve Kerr has thrown out there in the postseason has provided some quality minutes. McKinnie certainly fits that description. He was getting here-and-there minutes, then became more valuable with Kevin Durant sidelined. He grabbed nine rebounds in 21 minutes in Game 3 against Portland, then contributed 12 points in the clinching overtime victory in Game 4. McKinnie has a non-guaranteed salary next year but it’s difficult to see him getting cut loose considering the Warriors need to surround their stars with low-cost options. He can be a restricted free agent in 2020 if he receives a qualifying offer.

Enes Kanter, Trail Blazers, 27, C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $653K deal in 2019
Kanter rode the roller coaster during the playoffs. The Blazers would have never made it to the Western Conference finals without him in the wake of Jusuf Nurkic‘s injury. Following Game 1 against the Warriors though, Kanter saw limited minutes as coach Terry Stotts opted to ride stretch four Meyers Leonard. Kanter’s ability to put up numbers earned him a big contract with the Thunder — recall he was making $18.6MM this season before working out a buyout with the Knicks. But his defensive deficiencies are also apparent in today’s NBA. It will interesting to see how much executives value his positives on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Notes: Bell, Cousins, McKinnie

After an underwhelming beginning to the season, Warriors‘ forward Jordan Bell turned in one of his best performances of the 2018/19 campaign in Monday’s win over the Suns, and the Warriors need more outings like that moving forward, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“This is how we want Jordan to play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters, “with great pace and energy and anticipation, being early on rotations defensively, blocking shots and running the floor.”

Bell played less than 16 minutes, but scored a season-high 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds, blocking three shots, and dishing out two assists. And after the Warriors just lost center Damian Jones to a season-ending pectoral injury, the Warriors have been desperate for any help they can get at center before DeMarcus Cousins returns from injury, who Bell credited with his good game.

“Boogie gave me a lot of confidence (Sunday) in open gym, me just kicking his (backside) and getting buckets,” Bell said. “He gave me a lot of confidence. Steve saw it and saw that the confidence was up and decided to play me today.”

Kerr added that he believes Bell is also playing better because he’s started to relax and isn’t trying to do too much – in other words, he’s learning to accept a role.

“He got off to a slow start this year by trying to do too much,” Kerr said. “Lately, he’s settling down. He’s gotten in a few times, even though he hasn’t been in the rotation, where he’s done his job and done a really good job for a few minutes. And that’s what we’re asking.”

There’s more from Oakland:

  • Last summer’s prized free agent acquisition, the aforementioned Cousins, went through all of today’s practice, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN. Per Kerr, who spoke to Cousins for a few minutes after practice, the 28-year-old still has to improve his conditioning. So, despite the full practice under his belt, it remains up in the air as to when Cousins will return to game action.
  • According to Mark Medina of the Mercury News, it appears that the Warriors will opt to keep Alfonzo McKinnie on the roster and let his contract become fully guaranteed on January 10. It would be interesting to know whether the same could be said had the Warriors’ matched the Cavaliers’ offer sheet for Patrick McCaw.
  • ICYMI: Marc Stein believes that Kevin Durant may spend one more season with the Warriors before looking to move on in free agency. Stein also hears that Cousins may be interested in staying in Oakland through the 2019/20 season and Klay Thompson may stay in Golden State past this season as well.

Warriors Notes: McCaw, Center, McKinnie, Iguodala

After deciding not to match Patrick McCaw‘s offer sheet with the Cavaliers, Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke to reporters today about his team’s decision, citing Alfonzo McKinnie‘s play and roster flexibility as the primary reasons to let McCaw walk. As Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group tweets, Myers also mentioned the luxury tax implications, but suggested that wasn’t the primary factor.

According to Medina (Twitter link), Myers wished McCaw well and indicated that Golden State would have been happy to welcome him back. The Warriors’ GM still isn’t sure exactly why McCaw wanted to leave the club, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “I honestly don’t know,” Myers said. “It’s all speculation.”

With that 15th roster spot still open and Damian Jones sidelined, the Warriors are monitoring opportunities to add another center to the mix, Myers confirmed (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). However, nothing is imminent, and the GM sounds prepared to wait until closer to the trade deadline – or buyout season – to acquire another big man, according to Slater (Twitter link).

“I wish we could borrow some centers from last year,” Myers joked, referring to a 2017/18 roster that included David West, JaVale McGee, and Zaza Pachulia (Twitter link via Medina).

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Myers was reluctant to discuss a specific timeline when asked about DeMarcus Cousins‘ return, but he was positive about the big man’s recovery process. “I think we’re nearing the finish line,” Myers said, per Friedell (Twitter link).
  • It sounds like Alfonzo McKinnie probably doesn’t have to be worried about being waived at the contract guarantee deadline next Monday. Myers said today that the Warriors’ players, coaches, and front office all want to keep the young forward around (Twitter link via Slater).
  • Before the Warriors officially made their decision on Patrick McCaw, Medina spoke to a handful of the youngster’s now-former teammates about the prospect of welcoming him back into the locker room. “It would be an adjustment just because he hadn’t been playing with us and we have a new roster and a couple of new guys,” Kevon Looney said. “But I think most of us would take him back with open arms.” Within the same story, Medina notes that owner Joe Lacob remains “dumbfounded” and “befuddled” about how McCaw’s free agency played out.
  • Andre Iguodala was fined $25K by the NBA for throwing the game ball into the crowd at halftime in Portland on Saturday, the league announced today in a press release.

Warriors Likely To Decline McCaw’s Offer Sheet

DECEMBER 30, 6:58pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has confirmed previous reports and expectations that the Warriors are not planning to match the two-year deal for McCaw. The team officially has until 11:59 pm ET tonight to decide, but currently has no plans to do so, according to Wojnarowski.

DECEMBER 29, 6:23pm: The Warriors haven’t indicated how they plan to respond to Patrick McCaw‘s offer sheet, but a pair of writers who cover the team believe they won’t match the two-year deal from the Cavaliers.

Sources tell Anthony Slater of The Athletic that Golden State is “strongly leaning” toward refusing to match and letting the third-year shooting guard go to Cleveland. The Warriors kept a roster spot open for McCaw throughout his unexpectedly long holdout, but they have developed a more pressing need at center. With Damian Jones injured, the team’s top priority is finding another big man, according to Slater, with Robin Lopez the number one candidate if he negotiates a buyout in Chicago.

Alfonzo McKinnie has performed well in McCaw’s absence and seems likely to be kept on the roster as his contract becomes fully guaranteed next month. Slater states that Warriors owner Joe Lacob is unhappy about how McCaw handled the situation. Lacob paid $2.4MM to the Bucks two years ago to acquire the draft pick that was used to select him.

Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News believes the front office made its decision on McCaw a long time ago. There was limited contact with the 23-year-old after he turned down a $1.7MM qualifying offer and a subsequent two-year, $5.2MM deal.

“The whole thing has been surprising. We anticipated Pat would be part of our rotation this year,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It just didn’t happen, for whatever reason. We’ll see what happens. Obviously we have a decision to make.”

There are also concerns, both writers note, about bringing McCaw back into a locker room environment where he might not be fully welcome. The Warriors opted not to renounce him in case he became a trade asset, but they’re reached a point where a decision must be made.

Golden State must settle on its next step by tomorrow night — 48 hours after McCaw officially signed the offer sheet. The deal promises him $6MM over two years, although neither season is guaranteed. Contracts throughout the league become fully guaranteed on January 10, so whichever team winds up with McCaw would have to waive him by January 7 — a little more than a week from now — to avoid paying him $3MM for this year.

Because of the luxury tax, it would cost the Warriors more than $11MM to keep McCaw on the roster. He wouldn’t be eligible to be traded until the offseason if the offer sheet is matched.

Latest On Stephen Curry

Warriors guard Stephen Curry isn’t ready to return yet, but he’s making good progress in his recovery from a strained left groin, the team announced today in a press release.

According to the Warriors, Curry was re-evaluated today and is ready to begin to intensify his on-court workouts. If he continues to progress as the Dubs expect, the two-time MVP will likely start practicing with the team next week, with the goal of playing at some point during Golden State’s upcoming five-game road trip.

That means that Curry will sit out tonight’s game vs. Sacramento and Monday’s game vs. Orlando, at the very least. The Warriors will then embark on a road trip that includes stops in Toronto (11/29), Detroit (12/1), Atlanta (12/3), Cleveland (12/5), and Milwaukee (12/7).

While it remains unclear if Curry will be ready for the showdown with the Raptors at the start of that road trip, the team sounds hopeful that he’ll be back in action in time for the showdown with the Bucks at the end of the trip.

Curry has missed Golden State’s last eight games and the team has endured some uncharacteristic struggles in his absence. Including the game Curry left early with the groin injury, the Warriors are 3-6 since their star guard went down.

It hasn’t helped that the Dubs have had to deal with other injuries while Curry has been on the shelf. Draymond Green and Alfonzo McKinnie will both remain out of action for tonight’s game, and are still considered day-to-day, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Warriors Notes: Green, Casspi, McKinnie

Draymond Green is eager to win the Defensive Player of the Year award and with good reason — he would be eligible for a super max extension, Nick Friedell of ESPN relays. Citing fellow ESPN contributor Bobby Marks, Friedell notes that Green could receive a five-year, $235MM extension that would start in 2020 if he captured the prize, though Golden State could only sign one more player to a Designated Veteran Contract because Stephen Curry already has that type of deal.

“I need that bad. Real bad,” Green said of the Defensive Player of the Year award. “I made second team All-Defense last year. I’m (ticked) about that still. I’ll be (ticked) until I right that, so that’s a serious goal of mine this year.”

We have more from the Warriors:

  • Forward Omri Casspi didn’t play at all during the Warriors’ postseason run but the franchise will honor him anyway during a ring ceremony on Monday, Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Casspi, now a member of the Grizzlies, was waived just before the playoffs to open up a roster spot for guard Quinn Cook. Casspi appeared in 53 games with the Warriors after signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal but was sidelined by an ankle injury before he was waived.
  • Alfonzo McKinnie acknowledges that the impasse between Patrick McCaw and the Warriors helped him land a standard contract, as he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic in a lengthy Q&A session. McKinnie, a 6’8” forward, is averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.3 RPG off the bench and recorded a double-double against the Bulls last week. McKinnie originally came in on a two-way deal but received a two-year contract in training camp, though his salary for this season won’t fully guaranteed until January 10th. “The McCaw stuff, I guess, was good for my situation,” McKinnie said. “But it’s not something I can control. Just went through training camp, worked my butt off and they liked what they’ve seen.”
  • The Warriors remain hopeful of retaining DeMarcus Cousins beyond this season. Get the details here.

Alfonzo McKinnie, Warriors Agree To Two-Year Deal

4:11pm: The pact is not guaranteed, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. It won’t be fully guaranteed until January 10th, Slater adds.

3:37pm: McKinnie’s stint on a two-way contract with the Warriors didn’t last long. According to Charania (via Twitter), the two sides have already negotiated a new two-year, minimum salary contract that will make McKinnie the 14th man on the roster. By temporarily giving him a two-way contract, Golden State avoided having to put the second-year forward through waivers.

It’s not clear how much – if any – of McKinnie’s new deal will be guaranteed, or whether his roster spot will be safe if the Warriors eventually bring back Patrick McCaw. For now though, it appears he’s on track to open the regular season with the club.

8:24am: The Warriors are signing camp invitee Alfonzo McKinnie to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). McKinnie’s current contract with Golden State is reportedly an Exhibit 10 deal, which will allow the Dubs to unilaterally convert it into a two-way pact.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

According to Charania, the move could be a procedural one, opening the door for McKinnie to eventually sign a new standard contract with the Warriors. Converting his Exhibit 10 deal into a two-way contract will allow Golden State to keep the 26-year-old forward on the team without keeping him on its 15-man roster, which would increase the club’s projected tax bill. As a two-way player, McKinnie won’t count against the cap, and he could negotiate a standard NBA contract during the season if the Warriors decide they want to move him to the 15-man squad.

McKinnie, who played his college ball at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, spent the 2017/18 season with the Raptors, appearing sparingly in 14 games for the club. He saw more action for the Raptors 905 in the G League, averaging 14.0 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 35 contests for the squad. After Toronto waived McKinnie in July, he caught on with the Warriors for camp and has apparently impressed the defending champions this fall.

The Warriors have one open two-way contract slot, with Damion Lee filling the other, so no corresponding cut will be required to finalize the move.