Warriors Rumors: Marquese Chriss Seen as 'Potential Franchise Building Block'May 19, 2020
Golden State Warriors fans might be eying Memphis center James Wiseman ahead of this year's NBA draft, believing the team needs to upgrade at center, but the Dubs might have other plans.
Golden State views Chriss as a potential franchise building block, whose knack for rim-running, passing and interior defense makes him an ideal fit in its system. The front office is so optimistic about his future, according to multiple sources, that it would be comfortable entering next season with him as the starting center. This makes the Warriors less apt to use an early pick on Wiseman—or any other big man, for that matter—than some pundits might assume.
Chriss, 22, has had a solid season for the Warriors, averaging career highs in points (9.3), rebounds (6.2), assists (1.9) and blocks (1.1) in 59 contests (21 starts) for the Warriors. And Chriss was growing in the team's system. In February he averaged 13.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 blocks per game.
And in five March games he continued to impress (13.6 PPG, 10 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.2 BPG).
The 2016 No. 8 overall pick was a bust in two seasons with the Phoenix Suns and in his stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets in the 2018-19 campaign, but he's played well for the Dubs.
The key difference, as
"When the Warriors took a training camp flier on Chriss, they expected a shot-blocking menace with limited feel on offense. They had heard rumblings he could pout, and lose his temper. 'What we got,' Kerr said, 'was the opposite of all that.'
"Golden State often plays through its big men, and it took one practice for Chriss to show he had more passing chops than Warriors brass knew. 'We couldn't believe it,' Kerr said."