The Golden State Warriors Summer League squad went 2-4 in Las Vegas and got knocked out of the consolation bracket by the Dallas Mavericks.
And that’s okay.
Summer League is about showcasing your talent and proving that if given the chance, you can hold your own in the NBA.
The Warriors are in an exciting position. They picked up two players in this year’s draft, Damian Jones out of Vanderbilt with the 30th pick and Patrick McCaw out of UNLV via a trade with Milwaukee, at pick 38. But unlike many teams who cashed in on this year’s draft, the Warriors don't need to rely on their rookies this year. As you probably heard, they got a guy named Kevin Durant in free agency. They also picked up some proven veterans in Zaza Pachulia and David West.
Jones didn’t play in summer league, he is recovering from surgery for a pectoral injury, but according to The Vertical, he could be back by late training camp.
McCaw did play in Summer League and was easily the best player on the team. He averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2 steals per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from downtown. While the sample size is small and the competition is below-par, McCaw showed flashes of brilliance in his time on the court.
While McCaw was far and away the best player on the Warriors Summer League team, there were several other standouts whose performances may garner them a training camp invite.
Former University of Green Bay star Kiefer Sykes put together a solid couple of games. He averaged 14 points, 2.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.6 steals a game. His shooting numbers left some to be desired. He only shot 50 percent in two of his five games (he shot 39 percent from the field and 25 percent from downtown overall), including a 6-21 performance against San Antonio. Sykes will probably find himself in the D-League this year.
Aside from McCaw and Sykes, only three other players: Royce O’neale, Darion Atkins, and Ognjen Kuzmic played significant minutes.
Out of the group, only O’neale put up decent numbers (11.2 points and seven rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game), but could have shot the ball better, especially from deep (only 27 percent, on about four attempts per game).
Atkins had little impact on the court, scoring more than six points only once, yet he logged over 20 minutes a game. Kuzmic was especially disappointing. The third-year player averaged 6.4 points and 7.6 rebounds, and it looks like he may finally be on his way out.
The Warriors will not need to rely heavily on their young players as their core is one of the best in recent NBA history. McCaw and Jones are the only Summer League players who are a chance to make the roster come to the start of the season.
McCaw will be fighting for backup minutes with Ian Clark, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, but will probably find the floor on second and third units. On top of the great numbers he put up in Summer League, McCaw put his hustle and defense on display, and many were impressed.
Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins, assistant GM Kirk Lacob and Durant all praised McCaw’s performances in Las Vegas. Durant even wants to take McCaw under his wing and be a mentor for the rookie.
So when considering all factors of this year’s Warriors Summer League Team, a 2-4 record isn't something to worry about.