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Marquese Chriss’ contract is now guaranteed

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The young center has come a long way since this time last season.

The Golden State Warriors are set to begin training camp in just a few days, and they’ll do so with a newly-guaranteed contract: that of center Marquese Chriss.

The Warriors signed Chriss to a two-year, partially-guaranteed contract near the end of the 2019-20 season, with $800,000 guaranteed. But the entire contract has now been guaranteed.

According to the salary database Spotrac, Saturday was the date for the contract to convey from partially guaranteed to fully guaranteed. Had they waived Chriss before then, the Warriors would have only owed $800,000, but now he’ll be owed the full $1.82 million.

This was a no-brainer move when the Warriors didn’t acquire a veteran center in free agency or via trade. Had they managed to land someone like Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka, then perhaps they would have considered waiving Chriss. But with no such move being made, Chriss remains an integral part of the Warriors frontcourt situation, and will likely split the bulk of the center minutes with Kevon Looney and rookie James Wiseman.

Chriss’ contract guaranteeing is a reminder of just how far he’s come since this time last year. Last year the Warriors signed the former lottery pick — who had disappointed in his first three NBA seasons — to a training camp deal, and it didn’t seem like he had any chance at making the roster.

He not only made the roster, but shined in his role. Despite not having the benefit of playing with Steph Curry — or a competent team, for that matter — for much of the year, Chriss averaged 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game, with a 60.4% true-shooting percentage.

Seeing how Chriss performs alongside a healthy and competitive roster is one of the most intriguing storylines ahead of the upcoming season for the Warriors. And if he does play well, Golden State has his early Bird rights when he enters unrestricted free agency next offseason.