The Santa Cruz Warriors have started off their season with two wins, and leading them are the Golden State Warriors’ two-way players, Marcus Derrickson and Damion Lee.
Both players aren’t expected to play much in the NBA this season, but there’s always a chance that one of the might get the call up (as Lee did against the Bucks last night). After all, Quinn Cook took advantage of a two-way contract last year, playing amazingly when Stephen Curry was injured, and was given a proper NBA contract at the close of the regular season.
Damion Lee spent last season with Atlanta, and is notably Curry’s brother-in-law. A crafty scorer and decent defender, his main weakness last season was an inability to hit three-pointers. In today’s NBA, a mid-range scorer must be near elite to hold value, so Jones’ NBA future depends on his ability to spot up from long range. At age 26, he has to be able to do so soon.
In two games, Lee has proved his scoring ability, averaging 27 points on a scorching 66.7% field goal rate. He’s hit six of his nine threes, a great sign, and has even pitched in seven boards a game. If his three-point shot is for real, he could be an NBA player sometime soon.
Marcus Derrickson impressed with the Warriors during Summer League and the preseason, and at age 22, has some time to develop. A short, stout power forward with three-point range, he can fit the mold of a modern power forward in today’s NBA. In two games, he’s averaged 14 points on 61% shooting, and hit four of his eight three point attempts. He’s only corralled five boards overall, so that’s an area to improve on.
Lee and Derrickson may be on the fringes of the Warriors’ roster, but their pursuit of an NBA career is inspiring. I think both have the talent to make it in the league soon, and I’ll be rooting for them all the way.