The Golden State Warriors are one of two NBA teams with fewer than the league minimum number of 14 players on their 15-man roster. Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to carry fewer than 14 players for 28 days during the season, including 14 consecutive. Golden State has been carrying 13 players since opening day. Therefore, the Warriors will have to add a player by Tuesday. The Los Angeles Clippers, who made a couple of trades this past week, is the other team with 13 players on the roster.
NBA Rumors: Golden State Warriors Have Upcoming Roster Decision
Golden State is off to a fantastic start to the 2023-24 season as they sit atop the Pacific division with a 5-1 record. The Warriors have back-to-back upcoming games, so expect them to announce who they are adding after those contests. Golden State continues its four-game road trip with games at Cleveland (Monday) and Detroit (Tuesday).
Golden State has been solid on both ends of the floor in the early going. The Warriors are one of four teams that rank in the top 10 of the league in both offensive and defensive rating, as they are sixth offensively and 10th defensively. Stephen Curry, of course, leads the way for the Dubs offensively as he averages 30.3 points while shooting a blistering 55.1% from the field and 46.5% from the 3-point line. But they are getting contributions from everyone. Seven of their regulars averaging at least seven points a game, and eight contribute at least two boards a game. All totaled, 13 players are producing five or more points.
3-point shooting and sharing the ball are also a strength of the Dubs. While Golden State’s starters get all the accolades, a big reason that the Warriors are off to a strong start is their bench. The Warriors’ reserves produce 41 points a game (fifth) and own a league-best +6.4 plus/minus rating.
Defensive rebounding and turnovers are the Warriors’ biggest weaknesses. The Warriors are 23rd in the Association in defensive rebounding at 69.8%. They also rank 20th in turnover percentage at 15.2%.
Who Should Golden State Add?
Golden State has basically used a 10-man rotation in the early parts. Cory Joseph, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Brandin Podziemski have seen sparse action. Joseph missed all of the preseason and is still working his way back from his back injury, having seen just eight minutes of action. Meanwhile, Jackson-Davis and Podziemski weren’t expected to see much time this year with the Dubs.
As a result, Jackson-Davis and Podziemski were sent down to Santa Cruz on Friday. While the G-League doesn’t open play until December 10, Steve Kerr told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that the organization felt the pair could benefit from the experience.
“The next few days are training camp for Santa Cruz. A lot of great drill work and scrimmage time. With neither guy in the rotation right now we thought it was better time spent there. They will rejoin the team soon.”
Golden State has a few in-house options to add to the roster as they have all three of their two-way spots filled. Lester Quinones, Jerome Robinson, and Usman Garuba are the players on minor league deals. Quinones and Robinson have each seen five minutes of action in their lone action this year.
However, Garuba makes the most sense for the Warriors if they convert a two-way contract into a standard deal. The Dubs are guard and wing-heavy as 10 of their current 16 players, including two-way players, are traditional backcourt players.
Garuba is a talented youngster who averaged 12 minutes a game over 70 appearances last season with Houston. While he’s very limited offensively and not a great finisher, the 21-year-old makes up for it with his effort and rebounding ability. Garuba is also a physical defender with the ability to swat away shots.
If the Warriors decide to convert a two-way player’s contract, they could add another two-way player. Otherwise, the Dubs could pursue Wenyen Gabriel, JaMychal Green, Nerlens Noel, Dewayne Dedmon, Khem Birch, Dwight Howard, or Darius Bazley.
Golden State will likely leave its 15th spot open to allow some flexibility later in the season.