The Golden State Warriors personnel department may be facing a slight issue in the next few weeks, depending on results of updated medical reports. All of a sudden, the team is dealing with a serious shortage of healthy guards going into training camp.
Last week the Warriors were informed that while playing for the Serbian national team, backup point guard Nemanja Nedovic suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. Recent reports now suggest that the injury isn’t being a deemed a fracture. Head coach Steve Kerr didn’t exactly rule out surgery, but he also hinted that the young guard may be ready for camp after all.
Here is where it turns into a bit of an emergency.
Newly acquired veteran point guard Shaun Livingston is prepared to provide valuable minutes and experience off the bench. Unfortunately, news broke this past week that he is now sidelined for 6-8 weeks after doctors discovered he needed surgery to repair a fracture in his right big toe. If Livingston takes the full eight weeks to recover with no complications, that brings us to the second week in October. That’s just 13 days away from the season opener against the Sacramento Kings.
Taking those two injuries into consideration and looking at the depth chart is a bit of a stressful experience. The only healthy guards on the active roster are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush. For those keeping score at home, that means the Golden State Warriors currently have one active healthy player who can run the point.
I realize we’re two months from the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, but I would be willing to wager that the lack of healthy guards is a concern for the Warriors front office. Last season, depth at either guard position was hardly an issue at all. Steve Blake, Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore and Jordan Crawford played key roles off the bench and formed a fairly efficient second unit of versatile guards, providing relief to Curry and Thompson as needed. Now with the start of the season within sight, Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush are the only two established backup guards with real NBA experience.
Undrafted rookie point guard Aaron Craft was invited to attend the Dubs training camp, which now appears to be a massive opportunity for the former Ohio State Buckeye. He’ll get to prove himself as the backup guard Steve Kerr is looking for. Ample minutes and plenty of attention should allow him to show off his NBA-ready defensive skills, while having more time to work on his offensive game.
Another option is Seth Curry, younger brother of current point guard Stephen Curry. Seth made a name for himself by dropping high scoring totals in both D-League and Warriors preseason games last year. The younger Curry has become a fan favorite; mostly because of his last name, but also because of the fact that he’s shown serious potential with his shooting ability. Seth will have the same opportunity as Aaron Craft to make the NBA roster as the third point guard.
The situation may not be as dramatic after all, as long as the two injured point guards are healthy by Oct. 29. Still, the Warriors cannot be comfortable starting camp with the extremely low number of guards currently prepared to make an NBA roster. Craft is an extremely raw rookie, Nedovic has played in a total of 24 NBA games, and Seth Curry has played a total of nine NBA minutes.
The Warriors realize that Steph Curry will be commanding the vast majority of the time at point guard, but it’s always good to know he has a healthy veteran backup on the bench. Livingston should fill the role nicely, but Dubs fans, coaches and front office will have fingers crossed that he’s ready to roll come Oct. 29.