The Golden State Warriors have three preseason games in the books, and three wins, after a 121-114 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. And while Steph Curry and Jordan Poole might have been the exciting story of the game, the story with roster implications was the performance of the players battling for the final spot: Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway, Jordan Bell, Mychal Mulder, and Gary Payton II.
It’s time for the third installment of the 15th roster spot power rankings, and this time there’s a shakeup.
As always, I’m assuming the team will use the final roster spot — no guarantee there — and not including the possibility of Mulder being signed to a two-way deal.
5. Langston Galloway
vs. Lakers: 8 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 three-point shooting
Galloway’s best preseason performance isn’t enough to move him up the ladder. He still looks like a camp body, and someone the Warriors are getting familiar with in case they need some depth later in the season.
If he were seriously competing for a job, he’d be playing more minutes.
4. Jordan Bell
vs. Lakers: 9 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-2 shooting
If the Warriors were a rebuilding team, Bell would be at the top of this list. He’s flashed potential in the preseason, and has been highly intriguing. And on performance alone, he should be higher up this list.
But there’s still no path to him on the roster right now. Not with the Warriors being so blatant about their happiness to play small ball with a power forward at the five — something that’s only been exacerbated by a tremendous camp from Nemanja Bjelica.
Still, Bell’s been notable enough that I expect the Warriors to be interested in keeping him in Santa Cruz this year, if he’s available.
3. Gary Payton II
vs. Lakers: DNP — Hernia
A third straight missed game due to injury has Payton’s roster odds looking very slim. He had a good chance coming into camp, but this unfortunate hernia might have ruined things for him.
2. Mychal Mulder
vs. Lakers: 7 minutes, 2 points, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-3 three-point shooting
Mulder was the de facto No. 1 person on these rankings in the first two iterations, due to uninspired play by Bradley and the absence of Payton. But he’s finally been surpassed.
Personally, I’d still opt for him over Bradley, but the reality is that Mulder has done very little to promote his case.
I still think he ends up on a two-way contract though, so don’t start saying goodbye yet.
1. Avery Bradley
vs. Lakers: 13 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 foul, 1-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 three-point shooting
On Friday, Sean wrote what the piece that said exactly what I had been trying to avoid seeing. The Warriors value the veteran presence that Bradley brings, the experience he has, and the pedigree he once had. Curry has vouched for him. He’s getting the most minutes of these candidates.
I’m still not convinced. I don’t see it defensively, and there’s no “it” to see offensively. But against the Lakers, Bradley at least looked comfortable in the system. He was moving more, cutting more, playing within the system more.
He’s not my choice, but I can see why he seems to be the Warriors’.