The competition for playing time and roster spots has been intense among the Golden State Warriors players this preseason, with Coach Steve Kerr calling it “one of the best crops of young free agents that we’ve ever had here. Maybe the best when you look at guys who are fighting for two-way spots and possible Santa Cruz players. Really impressive.”
The young free agents were so impressive that today, the Warriors released both players who were currently signed to two-way contracts, swingman Quinndary Weatherspoon and rookie point guard Lester Quiñones.
Warriors have opened up both of their two-way roster spots to a group that includes Pat Spencer, Anthony Lamb, Ty Jerome and Jerome Robinson https://t.co/D6NV85wRLk— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 13, 2022
Weatherspoon earned a two-way deal midseason in 2021-22, replacing former two-way player Jeff Dotwin in January after starting the year in Santa Cruz. Originally selected No. 49 by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2019 draft, he played 11 games for the Warriors last year. His standout game was the Christmas Day upset of the Phoenix Suns, where Weatherspoon made all three of his shots in 14 minutes of action.
Lester Quiñones was briefly a teammate of James Wiseman at Memphis, where he was known for his three-point shooting and his swag - he pretended to strum a guitar after making a three-pointer. He’s also the only Warriors player who wears even shorter shorts than Jordan Poole.
The problem for each of these two-way guys wasn’t their play, but the surprising level of talent the Warriors brought to training camp. Specifically, guys named Jerome. Former first-round pick Ty Jerome became available, a pass-first point guard that provides reliable injury insurance. 2018 lottery pick Jerome Robinson also joined the squad, though it feels like Weatherspoon has outplayed him in the preseason games. As a fourth-year player, he’s still eligible for a two-way deal for one more season.
The roster crunch led the Warriors to release two players they liked, Mac McClung and Trevion Williams, in order to give them a chance to catch on elsewhere. Williams seems likely to head to Santa Cruz, as the Warriors own his G League rights, but McClung signed with the 76ers G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats. Through the structure of Exhibit 10 deals, the Warriors can also offer a bonus to disappointed players, like the two they cut, if they stay with Santa Cruz more than 60 days.
Who is going to get the two-way deals instead? Ty Jerome is the obvious favorite, with NBA experience at a position of need, though Donte DiVincenzo’s newfound ability to play point guard (10 assists against the Blazers!) makes that need less severe. But according to Marcus Thompson II on the Warriors Plus-Minus Podcast, “Pat Spencer’s getting a roster spot! Let’s go!”
Anthony Slater explained that “looking at the pecking order of preseason, Pat Spencer’s getting first-half minutes and looking pretty good...He’s a Steve Kerr player - “How many back door cuts did he have (against Portland) and how many quick passes?” Spencer was a college lacrosse superstar - he has the Division I record for career assists, and won the Tewaaraton Award as a junior, the “Heisman Trophy of lacrosse.” He started playing NCAA basketball as a fifth-year graduate student at Northwestern, played in Germany in 2020-21, and spent last season with the Wizards’ G League affiliate, Capital City Go-Go.
Anthony Lamb is also a candidate, but his checkered past and redundancy on the roster make him less likely. Plus Pat Spencer is a lacrosse player trying to dunk on everyone in sight! There’s been a real hole on the roster and in our hearts since a different power-dunking white guy left for Delaware. It’s time to make things right and give Pat Spencer a two-way deal.