There will be some competition that could heat the locker room for the Golden State Warriors to see who secures the spot as the starting center this upcoming season.
After a disappointing 15-50 record last season, the Warriors headed into the offseason with the hopes of being a competitive team again. But just as the season was approaching All-Star Klay Thompson sustained an Achilles injury on the opposite leg of which he had torn his ACL just last season. This injury will have him out for the entirety of this upcoming NBA season.
In an effort to reconstruct the team in Thompson’s absence, the Warriors signed Kent Bazemore, traded for Kelly Oubre Jr., and drafted James Wiseman.
As of now, we can guess that the starting lineup will most likely be Stephen Curry, Oubre Jr, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green. With that being said, the center position is still up for grabs and no one has the position secured just yet.
The Race Is On
The candidates include No. 2 overall draft pick Wiseman, their previous first-rounder Kevon Looney, and last year’s starter Marquese Chriss. Of course, there will be a battle to see who will obtain this spot for the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets on December 22nd. The next few weeks of training camp will determine who will, and Chriss believes that although there is only one starting position, they could all rotate in this role, as NBC Sports’ Marcus White detailed.
“I think we all offer different things,” Chriss said in a video press conference with reporters. “Me, as far as my passing and trying to [make plays] and things like that. Loon on the defensive end, and he’s just a smart player. And I think James just comes in and he does everything. He does everything really well. … So I think it’s going to work for us pretty well. Just having a bunch of players who can offer different things at different times in the game is just gonna give us a lot of versatility.”
Chriss ended last season as the Warriors’ starter at the center position. He was even predicted as the starter for the duration of the offseason. While Looney and Wiseman may be a good fit, Chriss has done a lot to prove himself.
There’s a New Kid on the Block
Wiseman became the Warriors’ tallest player at 7-foot-1 while Chriss and Looney are both listed at 6-foot-9. Despite the fact that Wiseman hasn’t had a lot of time to prove himself, he has just as equal of a chance to obtain the starting spot and could very well be a part of the Warriors’ promising future. This is all contingent on him being ready for the minutes and the pace of the game on a professional level.
Chriss said “it doesn’t really affect him,” as NBC Sport’s Marcus White depicted when asked about Golden State’s decision to draft a player at his same position. Although the Warriors can build around Wiseman, an impact will be needed by Chriss and Looney for the team to be successful.
The fate of these three will be determined in training camp which will be the deciding factor. As of now, Chriss is the frontrunner to start on the team’s opening matchup against the Nets.