This time just three years ago, Marquese Chriss was heading into his rookie season after being selected No. 8 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Now, after a tumultuous start to his NBA career, he’ll enter camp with the Golden State Warriors just hoping to earn a roster spot.
Chriss has agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors, according to a report from Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, but will have to really stand out to make the roster, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic added that the deal is non-guaranteed.
As things stand, it looks like a long shot for Chriss to be on the opening night roster, but bringing him into camp is a low-risk, high-reward play for the Warriors. He’s really struggled in his short time in the league, but this Warriors group will be by far the most talented set of teammates he’s had, and perhaps a fresh start with a well-run franchise and strong head coach can unlock the potential that made him a top-10 pick.
Though to be honest, there aren’t many reasons to be that optimistic. He hasn’t shown much on either side of the ball, and his shooting splits read 42.9/29.6/62.8. If you really want to dig deep to find some hope that it will work out, you’d have to bank on his athleticism, which is his one elite attribute, and hope that he could develop into a strong pick-and-roll partner for Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell. But if it doesn’t work out, they just let him walk after camp; no harm, no foul.
In general, bringing in Chriss fits with the Warriors’ overall strategy this offseason, as they look to get younger and deeper. Their lack of depth was exposed last season during the playoffs when they started struggling with injuries, and so far this summer they’ve already brought in multiple athletic wings and bigs that other teams have given up on, such as Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks.