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Alen Smailagic is nearing a return

The rookie center is headed to Santa Cruz, and will be reevaluated in a week.

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Rookie center Alen Smailagic is nearing his NBA debut with the Golden State Warriors.

In a press release on Tuesday, the team announced that Smailagic could begin accelerated on-court basketball activities. The Warriors also announced that Smailagic had been assigned to the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors, and would return to Golden State over the weekend, when the team is back home.

Most importantly, Smailagic will be reevaluated in one week. At that point, he may be good to make his debut.

Smailagic, who played for Santa Cruz last year, and was selected 39th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, has missed the entire season, plus all of training camp, due to a severe sprained ankle.

Once he’s fully cleared to play, chances are he’ll be with Golden State. The Warriors likely envisioned Smailagic spending much of the year in Santa Cruz, but that was before the injuries to . . . well, half of the roster. They will take all the depth they can get, even if that depth is young and inexperienced.

In the same release, the Warriors provided a status update on Kevon Looney, which we wrote about earlier today. They also announced that Jacob Evans III will be reevaluated in two weeks.