Coach Steve Kerr still mulling who will serve as Klay Thompson's backup
NBA.com staff reports
Jarrett Jack. Kent Bazemore and Jordan Crawford. Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush and Ian Clark. And now, Patrick McCaw and Nick Young. The list of players who have served as the caddy for Golden State Warriors All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson is a varied group to be sure.
As the 2017-18 gets rolling, coach Steve Kerr is still weighing who gets the job now: the youthful McCaw or the offensive spark plug Young, writes Mark Medina of The Mercury News:
After the Warriors gave $2.4 million to the Milwaukee Bucks to select Patrick McCaw with the 38th pick of the 2016 NBA draft, he became a promising rookie capable of starting in spot minutes and coming off the bench on extended playing time. McCaw, who turns 22 on Wednesday, has averaged 1.3 points on 40 percent shooting in 12.7 minutes off the bench in three games. Instead of focusing on those numbers, the Warriors remain intrigued with McCaw’s offensive and defensive versatility.
“Playing or not, that has never affected me as a basketball player,” McCaw said. “I know that one day, whether it’s tomorrow or 10 years from now, I want to still be in the NBA and still be playing. I know if I continue to do the things I’m supposed to do right now at this age, it’ll work out.”
This past summer, the Warriors signed 32-year-old wingman Nick Young to a one-year deal at their $5.2 mid-level exception in hopes to boost their secondary scoring. Though Young arrived to training camp with questionable conditioning and shooting inconsistency, that has not stopped him from averaging 9.8 points on 59.1 percent shooting in 15.5 minutes per game off the bench.
“I don’t want to put pressure on myself,” Young said. “Or put pressure on both of us in making it a competition. I think we both deserve to play. But I’ll leave that in Coach’s hands.”
The coach wants to play his hand this way: “If one of them clearly takes the job, then we’ll give it to them.”
With an extended role this season, McCaw could spark demand on the open market as a restricted free agent. With more games to evaluate, the Warriors could have clarity if they would want to match any offer he receives from other teams.
The Warriors’ coach still has harped on Young’s varying weaknesses, including his conditioning, his knowledge of the playbook and his defense.
“It’s been tough, but I’m on a championship team,” Young said. “I’m learning a new system and learning new plays. It’s a long season. You never know what could happen.”
Kerr has that same uncertainty regarding his backup shooting guard spot. He held out hope that changes soon.
“Competition is a good thing,” Kerr said. “The more good players we have on our team, the better we’re going to be as long as everybody understands their role and carves out a role for himself.”
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