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With the NBA Finals firmly entrenched on their annual travel plans, the Golden State Warriors can’t provide youngsters with the easiest paths to playing time.
But the right prospect can carve his niche regardless. Just ask Patrick McCaw, the sinewy second-rounder who made 71 regular-season appearances and played in all five games of the championship round as a rookie.
The 21-year-old swingman should have a similar role awaiting him in 2017-18, meaning Dub Nation mostly knows what to expect from the three-and-D sophomore. But there are three youthful prospects along the frontcourt—Kevon Looney, Damian Jones and rookie Jordan Bell.
Looney landed as the 30th pick in 2015, and Jones arrived at the same spot a year later. Bell, the 38th selection last month, was taken by the Chicago Bulls, then shipped out to Oakland for $3.5 million.
“We’re thrilled,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters after the draft. “… He’s one of the few guys that we looked at and really wanted to see if we could get. I actually was not optimistic we would be able to get him, but somehow it came to fruition.”
The three shared the floor at the Las Vegas Summer League, where McCaw monopolized the headlines with his 20 points per game. But each blossoming big found a strong spot during his Sin City audition—Looney on the glass, Jones on the defensive interior and Bell above the rim.
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Upon first glance, the Dubs have a single frontcourt position open in their rotation. And that’s assuming JaVale McGee doesn’t a return, an assumption head coach Steve Kerr isn’t ready to make, per Monte Poole of NBCSportsBayArea.com.
McGee averaged just 9.6 minutes a game last season. Save for mop-up duty, that could be the extent of what’s available. Remember, the Warriors have already blocked out minutes at the 4 and 5 spots for Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Omri Casspi, Zaza Pachulia and David West, so it’s not as if bigs are a…