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Warriors sign JaMihal Green as backup big

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With the departures of Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Belitsa this summer, there have been questions about how the Golden State Warriors will end their frontcourt rotation. Even though James Wiseman stayed healthy in the Summer League, installing more powerful screens, and after picking Patrick Baldwin Jr.’s big draft in the first round of the draft, there was still a Porter-sized hole in the list, and that hole was covered up. behind the three-point line in the corner. Jamichal Green enters.

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Green from the Denver Nuggets earlier this offseason, along with a 2027 first-rounder, in exchange for the 30th pick in the draft (who became UCLA forward Peyton Watson). It was a confusing trade for the OKC, which could possibly have given Green and his $8.2 million salary to a rival who wanted Green to combine size, defense and competent long-range shooting. Or maybe they thought the first three rounds of 2022 would be enough and they wanted to take the flyer that Denver would be bad in 2026-27. Despite this, they did not find any applicants, and with a roster absolutely overflowing with young prospects, the Thunder decided to buy Green out.

Losing the Thunder – and Denver – is a win for the Warriors, as Greene is perfect for a team that really needs a reliable veteran to play 15-20 minutes off the bench as a big bench. And the fees were extremely small, except for Green. See who’s left on the free agent market:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge, 36, played exactly zero minutes for the Brooklyn Nets in last year’s playoffs against the Boston Celtics. Also, at this point in his career, the LMA has been a full-time center for four years now, and not a replacement for Belli/Porter.
  • 38-year-old Carmelo Anthony, who even the Los Angeles Lakers considered too old to re-sign. Melo can still throw threes, but that’s really all he’s capable of, and he abruptly gave up his desert defensive “peak”.
  • Montrezl Harrell, who became sixth man of the year two years ago but has been traded twice in the past 11 months and is currently facing drug trafficking charges, though honestly, three pounds of marijuana sounds like a reasonable amount for a player NBA offseason. Harrell doesn’t play defense either, at just 6ft 7in, and after the past few years, the Dubs should question his IQ on and off the court. There is no one in his entourage who could carry this weed for him?
  • Blake Griffin, who the Warriors would only acquire to mentor Wiseman on how to treat knee injuries. Griffin’s various leg injuries mean he can barely get into the Kia these days, let alone jump over it. However, he would be a great addition to San Francisco’s stand-up comedy.
  • Dwight Howard, who… just isn’t.

Frankly, it seems like a miracle that a player of Green’s caliber was available three weeks after he became a free agent. It is large in size and has enough mobility to cover its wings in a pinch, although obviously not all game. Green’s long-range shots dropped last year—just 27% from deep—but in the previous three seasons, he’s shot 40%, 39%, and 40% from deep. And while he has played top-notch teammates in Denver, Los Angeles, and Memphis, it’s safe to say he’s never experienced such consistent long-range shots as he did on the court with Steph Curry.

Over his career, Green has averaged 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21 minutes per game, accounting for 37% of his triples. This is not a player who needs a lot of shots, but he can knock them down when the ball is flying towards him. And he’s very effective at picking shots – Warriors fans can expect almost all of his shots to come from behind the arc or within a few feet of the hoop.

What else can Greene do? He rebounds well and he has been successful in the smallball position, including against the Warriors in the 2019 playoffs against the Clippers. He is not a very good passer, but he is a skilled defender who never lacks effort. Plus, it’s easy to root for him. Green was not drafted from Alabama in 2012 and made his way to the NBA after two and a half years playing overseas, in the G League and in the Summer League before finally staying with the Grizzlies in 2015. As did Gary. Payton II, or Juan Toscano-Anderson, the Warriors love players who have made it into the league.

This signing won’t necessarily cut minutes for Wiseman or Jonathan Cuminga, but it will provide a huge amount of protection against injury or young players’ fickleness. Plus, if the Warriors make it to the Denver in the playoffs, it’ll be extra motivation for Green and a chance for Clay Thompson to yell, “They didn’t want you, JG!” before the series.

It’s not glamorous, but it’s arguably the best possible signing the Warriors could have made for 14th on their roster. And with Andre Iguodala in last place, that essentially closes the book on the Warriors in the offseason, short of a decision on a two-way contract second-place finish. All we know is that it won’t be Forever Warrior by Jeff Dotwin.

First OPJ and now Dotwin. Masai Ujiri, what a wannabe.


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