Juan Toscano-Anderson

Warriors Notes: Toscano-Anderson, Wiseman, Paschall, Wolves’ Pick

Juan Toscano-Anderson, who is expected to be promoted to the Warriors‘ 15-man roster next week after playing on a two-way contract all season, has impressed coach Steve Kerr with the way he plays the game, writes Marcus White of NBC Sports. In a radio interview Friday, Kerr praised Toscano-Anderson for sticking to his NBA dream.

“Twenty-eight years old, he’s bounced around the entire world playing basketball, and I think our fans love him,” Kerr said. “I know we love him as a coaching staff. The guy just gets it. He plays with great energy, he’s smart, he’s tough. He’s improved his skill now as a passer and a shooter to a point where he’s really making a lot of plays out there for us.”

Toscano-Anderson has become a more efficient shooter from everywhere on the court in his second NBA season, White points out. He’s also part of Golden State’s lineup with the best net rating and best offensive rating.

“(When) a guy knows how to play and he can guard multiple spots, he can play in any combination, and that’s his real value to our team,” Kerr said. “He’s not dependent on a certain combination. In pretty much every case, he makes whatever combination he’s with better.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr said rookie center James Wiseman is in “great spirits” following meniscus surgery last month, White adds in a separate story. It’s not certain that Wiseman will be ready for the start of training camp, but Kerr said he plans to rehab at the team facility during the offseason. “James is a really willing athlete. Willing, patient. He wants to be here,” Kerr said. “He wants to get better however he can, so we’ll give him every opportunity to improve — both on the floor once he’s ready to get out there, but also obviously in the training room and in the weight room.”
  • The team isn’t sure if Eric Paschall will return before the end of the regular season, tweets Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports. Recovering from a hip flexor strain, Paschall has been able to scrimmage but has barely practiced and is considered day to day.
  • This year probably presents the best chance for Golden State to earn maximum value from the Timberwolves‘ first-round pick, notes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Minnesota’s selection is top-three protected in 2021 and unprotected in 2022, but the Wolves have shown signs of improvement and may not be among the league’s worst teams next season. Minnesota is tied for second in our current Reverse Standings, but could slide down several spots with a strong finish. If the Wolves have the league’s second- or third-worst record, the Warriors will have nearly a 60% chance of seeing the pick convey this year.

Warriors Plan To Promote Toscano-Anderson To 15-Man Roster, Sign Bell To Two-Way Deal

The Warriors intend to promote two-way player Juan Toscano-Anderson to their 15-man roster and will sign big man Jordan Bell to a two-way contract to replace Toscano-Anderson, according to Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). The two moves will likely be completed next week.

The report doesn’t come as a real surprise. Having dipped to 13 players on standard contracts following the expiration of Gary Payton II‘s 10-day deal last week, Golden State has to add a 14th man by next Thursday. Slater had previously suggested this exact scenario, noting that Bell had been linked to the team and Toscano-Anderson has earned a promotion from his two-way deal based on his play this season.

Toscano-Anderson, 28, has emerged as a reliable rotation player for Golden State over the course of the 2020/21 campaign, averaging 5.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.6 APG with an impressive .584 FG% and .408 3PT% in 48 games (19.9 MPG). His performance has been crucial for a team missing some players on the wing, including injured All-Star Klay Thompson.

According to Slater (via Twitter), the terms of Toscano-Anderson’s new contract are still being finalized, so it’s unclear how much money beyond this season will be guaranteed or how many years the deal will cover. Golden State still has a portion of its taxpayer mid-level exception left, which could be used to lock up JTA for up to three years (through 2022/23).

As for Bell, his familiarity with the Warriors and Steve Kerr‘s system will allow him to step in right away and potentially contribute in the play-in tournament and/or the postseason, adding some depth to the Warriors’ frontcourt. Since this is his fourth year in the NBA, it’s the last season in which he’s eligible to sign a two-way contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Notes: Lee, Paschall, JTA, Bell, Kerr

Warriors wing Damion Lee, who is now out of quarantine, told reporters on Thursday that he contracted COVID-19 and dealt with a number of severe symptoms, as Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area details. Lee dealt with a bad case of the virus despite being fully vaccinated, which makes him a rare case, according to data compiled by the CDC.

“I felt like I was hit by two cars at once,” Lee said. “Every step I took, it hurt. There was pain, soreness, it felt like there was a weight on my chest for a couple of days. It was hard to breathe. Loss of appetite, and even still I don’t have my appetite all the way back. Even random headaches, brain fog where I’ll start a conversation and be in on the conversation and then five minutes in, I lose track of what I was talking about or just don’t want to talk anymore.”

Although he was able to return to the team this week, Lee isn’t ready to take the court yet, and with just over a week remaining in the regular season, it’s not clear whether or not he’ll return at all. Noting that the Warriors are likely to take a cautious approach with Lee, Anthony Slater of The Athletic believes the 28-year-old may have played his last game of 2020/21.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Of the Warriors’ injured players, Eric Paschall is closest to a return, according to Slater, who say the second-year forward is ramping up his conditions and will likely make it back during Golden State’s current home stand.
  • The Warriors will have to add a 14th man to their roster by the middle of next week, and Slater expects Juan Toscano-Anderson to fill that spot, receiving a promotion from his two-way deal. That could open the door for Jordan Bell, whom the Warriors are reportedly eyeing, to take Toscano-Anderson’s spot on a two-way contract.
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic about the lessons he has learned during a challenging 2020/21 season. Golden State is 12-16 this season in “clutch” games (games within five points in the last five minutes), which is an area Kerr feels he can help improve. “Definitely some things that I can do better. Just little detail things,” he said. “What happens when you lose some close ones, you tend to think about every single decision you made. Obviously there’s a greater chance that one decision can make a difference in the game just because you have less margin for error. So less margin for error means I gotta be on my game.”
  • In case you missed it, Kelly Oubre will miss at least a week or two due to his wrist injury.

California Notes: Bagley, Toscano-Anderson, Warriors, Lakers

The future remains murky for oft-injured Kings power forward Marvin Bagley III, a talented scorer who still needs to develop on defense, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic.

On Sunday, during his second game back after his latest injury, a left hand bone fracture that kept him sidelined for 22 contests, Bagley showed flashes of the potential that made him so highly coveted out of Duke, racking up 23 points and nine rebounds. The Kings selected Bagley with the No. 2 draft pick in 2018 ahead of future All-Stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

“Obviously nobody plans to get a hand caught in a jersey and break your hand, but you can’t control things like that,” Bagley said of his latest injury for the Kings. “What I could control was how I prepared to come back and things that I was doing to make sure I was ready when I did come back.”

Sacramento previously picked up Bagley’s $11.3MM player option for 2021/22. As Jones writes, while Bagley was rumored to be a potential trade candidate in March, the Kings couldn’t find a deal that would net them enough of a return to be worth pursuing.

There’s more out of California:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has liked what he’s seen out of forward Juan Toscano-Anderson, writes Alex Espinoza of NBC Sports Bay Area. Currently inked to a two-way deal with Golden State, has fought his way into the Warriors’ rotation through his moxie and hustle, averaging 5.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.4 APG across 19.5 MPG. “We’ll see how it plays out,” Kerr said to reporters about a potential long-term deal with Toscano-Anderson after this season. “Juan is clearly a very effective NBA player. We’d like to have him here for a long time.”
  • Though the Warriors have been waylaid by injuries that have impacted their roster depth, they currently have two roster spots empty in a calculated cost-saving decision. Anthony Slater of The Athletic wonders if the club’s choice warrants further scrutiny, considering that it still fighting for a play-in tournament spot during a standout year from All-Star point guard Stephen Curry.
  • Lakers guard Alex Caruso has had to take on more play-making duties for Los Angeles with key ball-handlers LeBron James and Dennis Schroder both sidelined, as Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes.

Pacific Notes: Bagley, Fox, Toscano-Anderson, Jackson

Marvin Bagley III may be on the move after this season, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (video link). The second overall pick in the 2018 draft is averaging 13.9 PPG and 7.4 RPG but the Kings‘ power forward hasn’t played since mid-March due to a hand injury.

“His name came up at the trade deadline,” Ham said. “It’s very possible he will not be with this team after this summer. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.”

Bagley is eligible for a rookie scale extension before next season but Ham is skeptical the Kings will pursue a new deal. “I don’t think there’s any way he’s getting his extension,” Ham said.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox will be sidelined up to two weeks after entering the league’s health and safety protocols. That means Tyrese Haliburton will be in the lineup, going against top perimeter defenders, and Delon Wright will see his minutes expand, Jason Jones of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Warriors’ Juan Toscano-Anderson considers himself a “fringe” player until he receives some contractual security, Steve Berman of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. “Until I sign my name on that dotted line with a guaranteed contract, I’m still going to treat myself as a fringe NBA player,” he said. “My back’s always against the wall.” Toscano-Anderson is on a two-way contract with Golden State.
  • Reggie Jackson is enjoying a bounce-back season after re-signing with the Clippers for the veteran’s minimum and he’s having fun again, he told Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times“Just be ready for anything and be appreciative of what’s going on and really just re-fall in love with the game,” he said. Jackson is averaging 10.5 PPG and 3.2 APG and shooting a career-high 44.1% from deep.

Western Notes: Morris, Drummond, Jones, Toscano-Anderson

Markieff Morris has served as an unsung hero for the Lakers in the absences of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes.

Morris, 31, has given Los Angeles a steady level of production in his 10th NBA season. In 49 games with the team (25 starts), the veteran has averaged 7.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 20.5 minutes per contest, shooting 44% from the floor and 35% from deep.

“I mean, (expletive), look at my production throughout my career,” Morris said. “I would think they would know I could be this consistent. Everybody’s trying to judge you off of how the season starts, but the tide always turns.”

As Goon notes, Morris has reached double-digit scoring in 10 of his last 13 games. The Kansas alum is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

There’s more from the Western Conference tonight:

  • Another player who’s produced for the Lakers is Andre Drummond, Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times writes. Drummond has averaged 16.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 27.9 minutes in six games since joining the Lakers, performing at a high level as the team’s starting center.
  • Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones earned a $817K bonus after the team beat Milwaukee 128-115 on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Jones had an incentive in his contract for 33 wins, but the total was prorated down to 29 due to the shortened season. Memphis currently holds the eighth-best record in the Western Conference at 29-26.
  • Warriors guard Juan Toscano-Anderson has been diagnosed with a concussion, Mark Medina of USA TODAY tweets. Toscano-Anderson suffered a brutal fall in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against Boston and left the contest early. As a result, he’s now in the league’s concussion protocol.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Wiseman, Toscano-Anderson

Warriors star Stephen Curry will be entering a contract year in 2021/22 if he doesn’t reach an extension agreement in the offseason with the team. However, he doesn’t sound like someone eager to test free agency. Asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) how much of a priority it is to spend his entire career in Golden State, Curry affirmed that’s his plan.

“It’s always been a priority,” Curry said. “When you look at guys like Dirk (Nowitzki), Kobe (Bryant), that I played against and have heard them talk about what that’s meant, they don’t speak on it lightly. There’s a reverence for that club.

“You never know what can happen, obviously, but I feel like that’s always been something that would mean so much to me. You want to stay competitive, you want to stay in that fight where you’re winning championships. If I can accomplish both, that’s the ultimate goal.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed on Thursday night that James Wiseman‘s surgery was the more intricate meniscus repair, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. That procedure involves a longer recovery time, as we discussed earlier this week. It’s the same route the Grizzlies took with Jaren Jackson Jr., who has yet to play this season.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic breaks down the takeaways from Wiseman’s rookie season and looks ahead to what’s next for the young center, noting that the 20-year-old’s offense was ahead of his defense in year one.
  • Juan Toscano-Anderson has outplayed his two-way contract this season and figures to earn a promotion to the standard roster at some point, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “You hope that (two-way) tag doesn’t last too much longer,” Curry said. “But while it does, he’s obviously playing way above that label.”
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a closer look at the challenging financial situation that the Warriors face this offseason and beyond.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Open Roster Spots, Oubre

Although the Warriors won their first game following Stephen Curry‘s tailbone contusion last week, the team has slumped since then without its leading scorer, losing its last four straight.

With Golden State still clinging to the 10th seed in the Western Conference at 22-24, the team got some good news on Sunday, as head coach Steve Kerr said that Curry practiced in full and “looked good,” per Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Curry hasn’t been cleared to return yet, but he has been upgraded to questionable for Monday’s game vs. Chicago, so he could be back on the court as soon as tonight. If not, he seems like a good bet to be ready for Thursday’s contest in Miami. Kerr indicated on Sunday that he’s looking forward not just to having Curry back but to having a healthier roster in general.

“When Steph is on the floor, we just have confidence and swagger that’s missing when he’s not,” Kerr said. “And that helps our defense. If you go back over the last eight or nine games, we’ve had a lot of stuff. Whether it’s injuries, (COVID-19) protocol … (these) are all reasons – not excuses, they’re just reasons – that we’ve struggled. But nobody really cares. It’s just what it is. Every team’s dealing with all kinds of adversity this year.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • After trading away Brad Wanamaker and Marquese Chriss at last week’s deadline, the Warriors have two openings on their 15-man roster. President of basketball operations Bob Myers said the team is considering a number of options for those spots, including signing a player on the buyout market, promoting two-way players Juan Toscano-Anderson and/or Nico Mannion, or even bringing over draft-and-stash prospect Justinian Jessup from Australia. Decisions are expected soon (Twitter links via Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Following the trade deadline, Myers acknowledged that the Timberwolves’ top-three protected 2021 first-round pick – held by the Warriors – drew plenty of interest. You gotta be open to anything, but it would take a lot to part with that,” Myers said of the pick (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). “You never say never.” If it lands in the top three this year, the Warriors will receive the Wolves’ unprotected first-rounder in 2022.
  • Myers didn’t have a problem with Kelly Oubre‘s comments suggesting he wouldn’t want to come off the bench if he’s back with the Warriors next season.I like what he said,” Myers said (Twitter link via Slater). “He should want to start.”

Pacific Notes: Wiseman, JTA, Davis, Kings, Suns

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hinted earlier this week that James Wiseman may be close to returning from sprained left wrist, but after being reevaluated on Thursday, the rookie center has been ruled out for at least another week. He’ll be reassessed again in seven-to-10 days, as Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.

Wiseman has been going through individual workouts, but has been somewhat limited in those sessions because he’s still feeling pain in his injured left hand. Until that pain goes away, the Warriors’ big man is unlikely to return, tweets Andrews.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Pacific…

  • An Oakland native, Juan Toscano-Anderson still can’t quite believe that he’s a member of the Warriors, as Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated writes in an in-depth look at the forward’s circuitous path to the NBA. While he’s currently on a two-way contract, Toscano-Anderson is a candidate to eventually be promoted to the standard 15-man roster.
  • Lakers star Anthony Davis, who has missed the last two games due to right Achilles tendonosis, is content to play it safe with the injury to avoid the risk of making it worse, as ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes. “I just don’t want to play a game where I still feel it and then get hurt and now I’m out for the playoffs or whatever or for multiple weeks,” Davis said.
  • Although it’s still too early to say whether the Kings will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee points out that veterans like Cory Joseph, Jabari Parker, and Nemanja Bjelica are candidates to be moved no matter which direction the team goes.
  • The Suns are increasing the limited capacity at the Phoenix Suns Arena from 1,500 fans to 3,000, as of February 16, the team announced in a press release.

Pacific Notes: Dudley, Suns, LeBron, Davis, Toscano-Anderson

Lakers forward Jared Dudley said the team was motivated by Clippers star Paul George‘s comments last season, with Dudley clarifying further in his book released earlier this week, “Inside the NBA Bubble: A Championship Season under Quarantine”.

“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in L.A.,” Dudley and co-author Carvell Wallace wrote, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s fine if Kawhi [Leonard] says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle.

“But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of [LeBron James] and [Anthony Davis]. This motivates us.”

Dudley also mentioned how the league could benefit from having a Lakers-Clippers rivalry, with both teams seemingly eager to meet in a playoff series — potentially the Western Conference Finals.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns are set to welcome back fans for the first time this season, the team announced on its website. Phoenix will host 1,500 fans on February 8, with suites being available to purchase at 25% capacity for each game after February 7.
  • Marc Stein of the New York times examines the pairing of Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, exploring whether the duo has gotten even better together since signing long-term extensions in the offseason. Los Angeles has opened the 2020/21 season with a 16-6 record, good for third-best in the Western Conference.
  • Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic looks at the making of Warriors swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson. Toscano-Anderson is in his second season with Golden State, with the 27-year-old adding 16 points off the bench in Tuesday’s loss against Boston. “He has an appreciation for the grind that it’s taken for him to get to this level,” teammate Stephen Curry said. “He has a spirit of representing Oakland. Playing for the hometown team for him has got to be such a dope experience. But when it comes to getting on the floor, he plays hard. He’s a smart basketball player. He’s reliable in that sense. He’s worked for everything he’s gotten, for every opportunity. … He hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal.”