Suddenly, the Golden State Warriors have a bunch of minor injuries to deal with.
Injury report for tonight's game at Portland: Jordan Bell (right ankle sprain), Stephen Curry (tweaked right ankle), Andre Iguodala (left wrist sprain), Patrick McCaw (non-displaced fracture, left wrist) & David West (right arm cyst) are out.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 9, 2018
I’d expect all of them back, including Patrick McCaw (who’s missed about three weeks), in the next week or so. But for now, the Warriors don’t have much depth at all. Quinn Cook, a point guard on a two-way contract, played rotation minutes due to Stephen Curry’s injury on Thursday against the Spurs.
To replenish their big man rotation, the Warriors called up center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors, their G-League affiliate. In his second year, Jones has spent most of the year in the G-League honing his skills. He’s only played eight minutes in the NBA this season.
Originally drafted as a project, Jones is still a ways away from being an NBA contributor. Despite his sturdy frame and athleticism, he’s still learning the fundamentals of high-level basketball. He’s having a decent season in the G-League, scoring 15.0 points a game on 69.5% shooting (a league-high), and corralling 8.0 boards and blocking 2.2 shots per game. Here he is working with Patrick McCaw, showing off a nice jumper.
Damian Jones and Pat McCaw working together pic.twitter.com/qo1ahkYVqN— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 10, 2018
Despite all the Warriors’ injuries, he’s still the lowest man on the depth chart. But he should get some time on the court, especially in garbage time. I’m interested to see how much of an effect he can have, and especially if he can hold his own defensively.
Going forwards, the center position is one of the most significant questions for the Warriors. At the position, only Jordan Bell and Damian Jones are under contract for next year. And at this point, there’s a good chance Jones will never make it in the NBA in a Warriors uniform.
This coming offseason will be the most important time in Damian Jones’ short career to prove he belongs in the league. Hopefully, Jones pans out and can play rotation minutes next year. If he can live up to his potential, he could be a solid starting center in the league.