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Golden State intent in keeping 15th roster spot open for buyout candidates

Warriors

The Golden State Warriors still plan to keep their 15th and last roster spot open for a potential buyout candidate, according to Connor LeTourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Due to the nature of Patrick McCaw’s contract, which would become liquid after the Jan. 10 deadline in which the contract becomes guaranteed, it could pan the former UNLV product against Alfonzo McKinnie, who made the roster out of training camp.

McKinnie has been a gem-like find for the Warriors in the wake of McCaw’s holdout after implications with his role. The Green Bay graduate has given head coach Steve Kerr everything the Warriors had hoped to get out of McCaw — solid rebounding, shot-making, aggressiveness, and willingness to play hard at both ends of the floor.

McCaw is three years younger than the 26-year-old McKinnie, but this battle is perfectly set up for the latter to keep his spot, unless the Warriors strongly feel the former’s ceiling out-floors McKinnie’s.

McCaw had proven hesitant and often deferring to star players in situations where he could make the most out of a play. Playing under a system that is designed to produce the best available shot, no matter who takes it, his dubiousness proved infuriating for a coach like Kerr, who believes in his potential as a three-and-D prospect, but kept seeing evidence of his lack of confidence in his own abilities.

The 23-year-old regressed from an okay 43.3 percent in his rookie season to shooting 40.9 percent through an injury-plagued one. McKinnie, meanwhile, has proved assertive and a helpful piece for this team under McCaw’s limited minutes, putting up 5.6 points on 46.9 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from deep, while pulling down 3.9 rebounds per game.