Alfonzo McKinnie to be waived Saturday, Steve Kerr confirms
SAN FRANCISCO - Steve Kerr confirmed reports that the Golden State Warriors will waive forward Alfonzo McKinnie. The team plans on making it official Saturday morning with Marquese Chriss expected to break camp with the team.
The move was necessitated by the Warriors' dearth of center options as the regular season looms. Both players could not be retained because of the Warriors' marginal wiggle room under the hard cap. McKinnie will hit waivers, where one of the 29 other teams will have their shot at securing an NBA-ready forward.
"It's a really, really difficult move to make because we have so much respect for Zo and not only his talent on the court, but character off the court," Kerr said. "He's been fantastic, just a real pro. He's the kind of person you want on your team. And he's an NBA player, he helped us win a lot of games last year helped us get to the Finals. He's everything you want from a player in your locker room in terms of being a great teammate and great worker."
McKinnie's sacrifice paves the way for forward Chriss, who not only lengthens a short Warriors team, but provides a prospect potential the team's essentially lacked since the Splash Brothers first walked Oracle Arena's halls. The Sacramento Kings drafted Chriss No. 8 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.
"It's exciting to think of Marquese as a prospect for us in the future," Kerr said. "We haven't had a high draft pick here in seven, eight years. So to get a 22-year-old who is a high lottery pick, means a lot adding that kind of talent to the roster."
Chriss never quite fulfilled his high-draft pick expectations, though. But with in camp started to match production with potential. He averaged 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 3 assists in 22.6 minutes. Kerr said he's been most surprised by Chriss' passing abilities, how well he could screen and pass at the top of the key. His weakness follows that of the team itself.
"The biggest growth has to come defensively, we're asking him to play up," Kerr said. "He's really a 4 in terms of his size but we're asking him to play 5 and there's a lot of responsibility there too. That will come. We're going to continue to work with him and teach him and Draymond will continue to mentor him."
Chriss will be thrown into the 5 with Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein out with hamstring and foot injuries, respectively. Looney will scrimmage in the last few practices before the regular season begins, and there is a possibility he plays opening night.
Chriss, though, is a lock to start the season with the Warriors.
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) The writing was on the wall for Alfonzo McKinnie. The small forward will be cut by the hard-capped Golden State Warriors to make room to sign Marquese Chriss, according to
The Golden State Warriors are reportedly waiving small forward Alfonzo McKinnie. The news was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. Sources: The Golden State Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, clearing
The Warriors are parting with one young prospect to make way for another. Per multiple reports, Golden State is waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie and plans to keep former No. 8 overall pick Marquese Chriss. Chriss was
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