The Golden State Warriors lost all three California Classic summer league games, failing to crack 80 points. In their final game against the Miami Heat, the Warriors struggled to get stops on defense, losing 90-74.
But the NBA summer league is not about wins and losses. It’s about uncovering the potential that new, young faces can bring to the table.
And for Golden State, their young players did exactly that.
Even in blowout losses, new Warriors showed flashes of skills that could boost Steph, Klay and Draymond down the road.
Newly drafted forward Gui Santos showed offensive polish and his ability to create for others on the offensive end.
The 55th-overall selection in this year’s draft went tit-for-tat with Sacramento Kings first-round selection Keegan Murray, finishing with 23 points, six rebounds and three steals Saturday.
One aspect of Santos’ game the coaching staff has liked so far has been his coachability. Warriors Summer League head coach Seth Cooper said he appreciated Santos’ drive to get better:
I think he’s really willing to learn and eager to get better … I think as he develops, there’s a lot of potential for him to keep growing as well, but it’s been nice for him to show a little bit of what he can do.”
Newly-signed guard Lester Quinones from Memphis University had an up and down weekend, but showed his ability to shoot the ball off the dribble and play point guard when needed.
His best game came on Sunday against the Lakers when he finished with 19 points on 3-for-6 shooting from the 3-point line. Quinones also had some moments defensively where he forced turnovers and bad shots from Lakers guards.
Quinones said he is working on being a 3-and-D player in the Warriors rotation this year:
I feel like my niche here is really that three and D role … I feel like on this team to earn my stripes and everything, I’m gonna have to kind of be that guy to kind of get up under people.”
Another standout was 2020 second-round selection Justinian Jessup, who looked better and better as the weekend went on. He finished with 11points and finished plus-5 in the final Warriors game Tuesday against the Heat.
Jessup said his main focus for this summer is to do the little things that are needed for the team to succeed:
I’m focused on playing really intensely in areas I can control like running the floor defensively, hunting threes and straight line drives … I know what I gotta do, and I just got to do that at a high level.”
The Warriors also brought on board some familiar faces from this past season’s championship run. Guard Moses Moody and forward Quinndary Weatherspoon were activated for the final two games and both had a big impact.
Moody averaged 11 points and three assists across two games. Warriors Summer League Head Coach Seth Cooper and his staff pushed Moody in the games he played, designating him to be the Warriors primary ball handler.
Cooper believes the increased reps as a playmaker will help Moody in the long run:
“I think it’s something that he’s just gonna keep getting better at and I think it was good to see that he made a lot of really good plays.”
Weatherspoon only played in the Warriors final game against Miami, but he showed why he received a two-way contract from Golden State last year. He finished with 14 points and he disrupted passing lanes when he was on the floor.
When the Warriors had trouble getting anything going at the end of the shot clock, it was Weatherspoon who would get the ball, put his head down and attack the basket to create a shot for himself or others.
The 0-3 start to the summer league was not ideal for Golden State, but they played these games without their full roster. James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Patrick Baldwin Jr. did not participate in the California Classic, but are slated to play in the Las Vegas Summer League starting on July 8.
Wiseman, Kuminga and Baldwin Jr. are all natural scorers and will help the Warriors create offense in the halfcourt–something that they had trouble with all weekend.
The Warriors will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the Las Summer League. Their first matchup will be against the New York Knicks on July 8 at 5:00.
After weekend games with around 9,000 fans in Chase Center Saturday and Sunday, no fans were allowed in the arena Tuesday.