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Rest-of-season outlook for the Warriors’ youth

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How can the Warriors’ youth have an impact on the remainder of the season?

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Through the magical wizardry of Bob Myers, the Golden State Warriors have managed to build a balanced roster through the draft, with veterans and young players alike. The last three years, specifically, we have seen the Warriors go into the draft without a pick or maneuver through the draft and manage to come up with a draft-day steal.

Myers has managed to collect a nice set of assets on the cheap that can learn under the tutelage of the Warriors’ veterans and All-Star players.

The problem for the Warriors is that with so much talent on the roster, the younger guys don’t always get the opportunity to prove themselves — with some relegated to garbage time during blowouts. With the Warriors hitting the All-Star break soon, it’s time to assess each young player’s rest-of-season outlook.

Patrick McCaw

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

McCaw was recently assigned to Santa Cruz to join the G-League Warriors. Coming into the season, the team and fans had high hopes for McCaw, who was seen by many as the heir apparent to Andre Iguodala. He played key crunch-time minutes in the 2017 NBA Finals and looked to build off a solid rookie campaign.

His stock has taken a bit of an unexpected nosedive this season, however. McCaw has looked lost and overwhelmed at times. His confidence is shot and needs some sort of boost. Now, he finds his name is trade rumors.

What is his outlook for the rest of the season? With McCaw volunteering to head to the G-League, the Warriors could only hope that he can get his proper reps and regain his confidence. The Warriors G-League squad runs a similar offense to Kerr’s system, so McCaw will have the opportunity to work through his issues.

It’s hard to project what to expect from McCaw, but if he can get back into rhythm and become more aggressive, we might see some resemblance of last year’s playoff version.

Damian Jones

Austin Spurs vs Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Damian Jones, O Damian Jones! Where art thou, Damian Jones?

Jones has been with the Santa Cruz Warriors for a substantial portion of his first two years in the league. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. During his rookie year, Jones looked a bit lost and the game was far too fast for him. He flashed some athleticism but lacked timing.

Now, in his second year, Jones has only seen a handful of minutes of game time due to being called up from Santa Cruz a few times. In those handful of minutes this year, he has shown a new demeanor on the court. His frame is a bit bigger and he appears to have caught up to the speed of NBA basketball.

What is his outlook for the rest of the season? Jones finds himself in a unique situation. The Warriors have plenty of talented veteran bigs that can rotate at center with JaVale McGee and David West, behind Zaza Pachulia. It would take an injury or a trade for Jones to see a larger opportunity in the rotation.

With the Warriors struggling as of late, and McCaw headed to the G-League, maybe it’s a slight change in the rotation that can get the team kicking again. McGee hasn’t seen much playing time, so maybe it’s time to get Jones more involved in the later half of the season.

Kevon Looney

New York Knicks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Warriors drafting Jordan Bell this past offseason all but made it official that the Warriors were planning to move on from Kevon Looney. His first two years were forgettable. He had multiple hip surgeries and didn’t look in shape in his return from rehab.

Now, at the midpoint in his third season, Looney might be the team’s biggest surprise of the season. He has slimmed down and looks spry on court. He was all but written off, but has now become a key contributor in the rotation and one of the Warriors’ better defenders.

What is his outlook for the rest of the season? With injuries piling up and the accumulated fatigue of going to three consecutive NBA Finals (short offseasons), the team will need fresh bodies for the stretch run headed into the playoffs. This is Looney’s time to shine and help himself earn a bigger contract next year, as he will enter the offseason an

Looney will get every opportunity to take minutes in the rotation now that he has finally demonstrated his versatility on defense and ability to run with the starters in the fast break.

Jordan Bell

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Bell was off to an excellent start in his rookie season and had a lot of people wondering if he could be the Warriors’ small-ball center of the future. Under the tutelage of Draymond Green, he has shown he can mimic and provide a similar defensive presence on court.

With the defensive lull the Warriors have entered into during January and early February, the team could really use Bell’s services right now.

What is his outlook for the rest of the season? Bell’s stock is still high but with the recent ankle injury he suffered against the Bulls, it’s uncertain whether this will linger throughout the season and put a damper on his explosiveness.

Most likely, the injury won’t impact his explosiveness but he may be more hesitant to avoid aggravating the injury.

If he can return to where he was pre-ankle injury, Bell can provide a huge boost to the team’s defensive energy and offer a much-needed interior presence.

Poll

Which Warrior youth will have the biggest rise in stock during the 2nd half of the season?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Patrick McCaw
    (185 votes)
  • 19%
    Kevon Looney
    (238 votes)
  • 3%
    Damian Jones
    (42 votes)
  • 62%
    Jordan Bell
    (768 votes)
1233 votes total Vote Now