Warriors general manager Bob Myers made an unexpected move on Monday, signaling that a change in the backcourt rotation could be imminent.
Namely, veteran guard Brad Wanamaker might be down to his last chance to stay in the rotation, if he has a shot at all.
Myers called up guards Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion earlier than anticipated from the G-League bubble, according to the Warriors, and the pair will be available for Golden State starting Wednesday night against the Blazers.
The Santa Cruz Warriors have at least three games left in the G-League, and it was assumed Poole and Mannion would finish that campaign. But Wanamaker has struggled to find a rhythm overall this season, and Myers might have had enough.
Wanamaker averages just 4.8 points per game, shooting 36 percent from the floor and an abysmal 22 percent from beyond the arch. He’s counted on to lead the second unit, and he often comes up short.
Poole, a second-year player and first-round pick by Golden State, has progressed rapidly in the G-League. Poole scored 22.4 points per game with 4.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Mannion is this year’s second round pick and averaged 19.3 points in the G-League with 6.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds.
It’s no wonder Myers wants to give Poole and Mannion a look. Poole will likely get the first chance to take Wanamaker’s spot. He’s more polished as a scorer and is a good playmaker, too. Mannion is a year behind Poole and will likely only play in emergency situations or garbage time for the time being.
Poole’s extra year of experience counts for a lot, since Wanamaker helps to lead the second unit. I’m a believer of Poole’s skills, and this could be a welcome surprise move for Golden State, just before the All-Star break.
UPDATE: Here’s what Kerr said Tuesday about his young guards’ return to Golden State’s roster, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Kerr also defended Wanamaker, as he of course always does. Kerr said Wanamaker has struggled in part because the second unit has been in flux and has been short on playmakers, which Kerr says Wanamaker needs to thrive. I still expect Wanamaker to have to fight for his job in the coming weeks.
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