The Warriors are adding some competition for that last roster spot to fill out a lineup that could be historically great.
According to David Pick, the Warriors are going to invite point guard Phil Pressey to training camp.
The Warriors are bringing point guard Phil Pressey to training camp, according to source.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) August 16, 2016
Pressey is a small, scrappy point guard out of the University of Missouri. He wasn’t drafted in 2013, and has since bounced around the NBA and D-League.
Pressey played in 75 games with the Boston Celtics as a rookie in 2013-2014, but has played in less games each successive season since then.
He played in 14 games last season for the Philadelphia 76ers, but was waived in early December.
He went to the Idaho Stampede of the D-League, and eventually got signed by the Phoenix Suns, where he appeared in 9 games.
Clearly a player in Pressey’s situation has some blatant flaws. First of all, he’s severely undersized at 5’11’’. His defensive metrics aren’t great, and he’s not a good shooter.
For his career, he’s shooting just 34.1% from the field and 25.4% from 3-point range. That limits his effectiveness as an offensive player.
However, his facilitating skills are commendable. Per 36 minutes, he averages 7.7 assists for his career.
For some perspective, that’s 1.5 assists more per 36 minutes than Damian Lillard has averaged his career.
Of course, Lillard has a bigger sample size, but it’s still a positive indication that Pressey is a formidable distributor when he does get playing time.
Based on team need, I’d give JaVale McGee the edge to get that final roster spot. They still need a proven shot blocker, and McGee can provide that athletic rim protection.
What will work in Pressey’s favor, though, is the point guard depth chart the Warriors currently have.
Behind Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston, there’s not really a true point guard on the roster.
Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw are expected to battle for minutes as backup shooting guard behind Klay Thompson.
Maybe Pressey can be an extra body on the NBA roster to play sparingly at point guard, but he’ll also have to compete with Elliot Williams for that role.
Williams averaged 28.4 points per game for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the D-League last season, and at 6’5’’ has the versatility to play either guard position.
Williams was originally picked by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 22nd selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.
As of now, Pressey is probably the least likely of these three players to secure that final spot, but competition tends to bring out the best in people.
Each of these players will rigorously try to prove at training camp that they can help this team succeed, even if the role they’re vying for is a minor one.