Based on their initial 16-man roster released today, the Golden State Warriors will have a loaded Summer League squad this year, even if some key players will likely miss this weekend’s California Classic. There are four former first-round picks, six players 21 and younger, plus some old favorites from the Santa Cruz Warriors and previous summer league teams.
Warriors Summer League Team
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
— GSWCBA (@gswcba) June 28, 2022
We can divide this list into groups.
Young studs get jobs
grumpy moses Y jonathan kuminga both were 19 years old for the entirety of the regular season, with Moody turning 20 during the Finals. And while each suffered some growing pains, both were major contributors to perhaps the greatest Strength in Numbers effort of any Warriors championship team. Kuminga started 12 games, plus three playoff games, increasing his shooting and scoring numbers as the season progressed (12.1 points per game, 36% shooting from 3-pointers after the All-Star Game). Moody started 11 of his 52 games, also improving his shooting as the season progressed and going from being out of the rotation to playing big minutes in the conference finals win over Dallas. Both should excel in the summer league, although it looks like Kuminga will spend this weekend helping the Democratic Republic of Congo qualify for the FIBA World Cup: they have games from Friday to Sunday.
All of the Warriors selected in last week’s draft will be coming to SF and Las Vegas for the summer league, though he appears to be the 28th pick. Patrick Baldwin Jr. he may sit out of the California Classic due to recovery from injury. He says his troublesome ankle is fine, but the Warriors are usually pretty cautious about rehabbing injuries, so he may not play in back-to-back Classic games. In addition to PBJ, fans get their first look at the second-round sleeper ryan rollins de Toledo, a forward and shooting wizard who turns 20 on Sunday when the Warriors play the Kings at Chase Center. The last rookie is Lester Quinones, a 6’5” point guard from Memphis who the Warriors signed to a two-way deal after he went undrafted last week. Quiñones was briefly a college teammate of James Wiseman, though draconian NCAA eligibility issues prevented them from playing many games together. He was a good 3-point shooter in college, so the Warriors hope he can step into the role of Chris Chiozza. Sadly, Chiozza is no longer eligible to sign a two-way deal, a fact that is sure to crush every fan of him in Dub Nation.
Seven foot question marks
James Wisemann he hasn’t played an NBA game since April 10 of last year, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing at the Chase Center for a few months. Anthony Slater reported that Big Jim “seems unlikely” to play this weekend, as he is still returning to full-contract practice. Vegas Summer League is a much more likely place for him to make his debut, but we’re not expecting big minutes just yet. Or honestly, anything at all. Wiseman’s meniscus injury, and the setbacks that stemmed from the surgeries, are still very tenuous, and as much as everyone wants to see what the former No. 2 pick can do, let’s just say we expected Wiseman to return to the court a few times already. . Bet the low on his minutes, though you might want to mark July 15 on the calendar, since it’s Wiseman’s first chance to nail Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren.
visitors from abroad
2020 second round pick Justinian Jessup is returning to America from summer ball, after spending the last two seasons playing for the Illawara Hawks of the Australian Basketball League; they play in Wollongong and are co-owned by former NBA Executive of the Year and normal neck wearer Bryan Colangelo. Its arena is known as “The Snakepit”. All of those facts are more interesting than Jessup’s performance, where he averaged 13.3 points per game and saw his game regress slightly from 2020-21. Jessup scored 12.1 points per game last year in the Summer League, and he’ll almost certainly remain holed up overseas, with the Warriors’ packed roster and Jessup’s questionable ability to defend in the NBA.
dustin slev is a 26-year-old power forward from Pittsburgh who has played professionally in France since playing at tiny Shippensburg University (they’re the “Ship Raiders”). He was a teammate of Guerreros de Santa Cruz legend Axel Toupane, who may have recommended him. Y Gabriel Chachashvili is a 22-year-old central defender who plays for Israel’s Hapoel Galil Elyon, who will wear a very wide shirt to accommodate all the letters of his name. He’s only 6’9”, but he and PBJ will be raining down 3s from the perimeter in pregame warmups.
The second round this year gui saints He’s also highly unlikely to play for the big team this year, but it’s possible he’ll spend next year learning the Warriors’ system in Santa Cruz instead of playing for his team in Brazil. Historically, the Warriors have been willing to pay a little more for the young players they want, like last year when they designated Quinndary Weatherpsoon as an “affiliate player” so he could get a bigger salary, then signed him to a two-way deal six weeks later. Still, the talented but crude Santos is more likely to stick with Minas in Brazil next year.
Weatherspoon is listed on the Summer League roster after winning a ring with the Warriors as one of their two-way players. Unlike Chiozza, Weatherspoon is only entering his fourth pro season, so he’s eligible to sign another two-way next year, and that could be with the Dubs. They have reportedly extended a qualifying offer to Weatherspoon, giving the Warriors the right to match any offer for him, though they would almost certainly let him go if he got a full NBA deal. There is also unrecruited rookie guard Payton Willisthat he’s old for a prospect at 24 (he was a sixth-year student in Minnesota), but he’s big and can shoot 3-pointers, two qualities the Warriors love.
A guard who is not great is jacob gilard, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard from Richmond who nonetheless became the NCAA’s all-time leader in steals last season with 466, breaking the old record. He also broke Richmond’s record for assists by a freshman, surpassing the previous mark held by Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson. Gilyard went undrafted primarily because he’s extremely small, but his steal rates were incredible in college and it’s not hard to see how he could carve out a Jose Alvarado-type role as a bully defensive guard off the bench.
Plus, he can shoot step-back 3s and outpointed No. 4 pick Keegan Murray when Richmond defeated Iowa in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Weatherspoon is probably a more useful player for Golden State, but Gilyard is absolutely the funniest two-way option on the summer roster.
Finally, Alex Morales he’s another small-college standout who’s too old to be a prospect. Morales fired it up for Wagner College, winning the Northeast Conference Player of the Year in consecutive years, a result once achieved by Indiana Pacers legend Rik Smits. Morales nearly took Wagner into the tournament, but had a lousy shooting game (0-16!) in the conference title game. He’s a good scorer, but he might not be athletic enough at the NBA level, plus he turns 25 this fall.
Kalob Ledoux he averaged 13 points per game for Santa Cruz last year, shooting 40% from 3-point range. It seems that Santa Cruz wants to recover the 6’4” sniper, and why not? Selom Mawugbe he played center for Santa Cruz for the past two seasons and increased his rebounding while continuing to block more than two shots per game. Mawugbe is a former defensive stud from Azusa Pacific, but his athleticism and the fact that he’s only played basketball since he was 14 means he still has room to improve, even at 24. His main job this summer? Don’t crash into James Wiseman’s knees!
The California Classic takes place this Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday in SF, while the Warriors Las Vegas schedule kicks off this coming Friday, July 8 night.