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Ranking all of Steph’s teammates: #21 — Marquese Chriss

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And rising.

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

During his time with the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.

And I’m ranking all 106 of them before a new season starts and he adds to the tally. Better get a move on.

Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.


#21 — Marquese Chriss

Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Games: 59 (T-44th out of 106)
Points per game: 9.3 (27th out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 6.2 (T-9th out of 106)
Assists per game: 1.9 (T-33rd out of 106)

It’s pretty remarkable to think about how far Marquese Chriss has come since preseason a year ago to preseason now.

Last year he looked essentially out of the league. After two rough years with the Phoenix Suns, who had drafted him with a lottery pick in 2016, Chriss spent the 2018-19 season between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets, and did not look like an NBA-caliber player.

It looked like the former No. 8 pick was destined to spent his fourth professional season in the G League.

After he went unsigned for the bulk of the offseason, the Warriors signed him to a training camp contract at the last minute to help make up for the injuries to Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein. He seemed to just be a camp body — I gave him essentially no chance of making a roster that was already full.

But he impressed in training camp, and between that and the aforementioned injuries, the Warriors made space on the roster for him by waiving Alfonzo McKinnie.

At the time it seemed possible that Chriss could have his best season when playing next to a player like Steph Curry, who could open the floor for him and set him up. What no one anticipated was Chriss having a breakout season without Curry.

Take a look at Chriss’ per 36 minute stats from his first three seasons vs. last year:

2016-19: 14.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 steals, 42.9% shooting, 51.1% true shooting
2019-20: 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.9 blocks, 1.2 steals, 54.5% shooting, 60.4% true shooting

Chriss got better in every stage of the game. He more than doubled his assist rate, while transforming from a highly inefficient scorer to a very efficient one, and showing flashes of defensive potential.

And again: without Curry.

How Chriss will perform this coming season is one of the most fascinating Warriors storylines. Will he regress, and have his 2019-20 season look like an outlier? Or will he build on his breakout year, and take another step with a cast of talented players around him?

He could rise on this list. In fact, I’d say it’s quite likely. Stay tuned.

With fewer than 30 players left, I’m going to start listing the remaining names in alphabetic order, to help out with determining whether someone is properly ranked. Here they are:

Leandro Barbosa, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee, David Lee, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, Corey Maggette, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson, David West, Andrew Wiggins, Dorell Wright

Poll

What do you think of Marquese Chriss’ ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    He was better than #21
    (37 votes)
  • 43%
    #21 is about right
    (54 votes)
  • 27%
    He was worse than #21
    (34 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now