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Jacob Evans sees plenty of opportunity with Klay Thompson sidelined, departures from Warriors

Jacob Evans

Golden State Warriors incoming second-year man Jacob Evans sees plenty of opportunities in the upcoming season after several player departures left a void on a roster that is already hampered by the extended absence of Klay Thompson.

Evans, the Warriors’ 28th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, played a mere 30 games (one start) for Steve Kerr last year. As a rookie on a stacked team, he really didn’t have the chance to showcase his abilities. The upcoming season will be different, though. The 22-year-old Cincinnati product believes that he now has the chance to earn a rotational spot on the team, per Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“This year, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity,” he said before meeting with the campers. “Klay is recovering from injury, and we have a lot of new guys. We’re a lot younger and a lot of roles have opened up. It’s an exciting time. …

“It’s really up to me, going out there and performing and doing what I have to do to solidify my minutes, my spot on this team.”

The Warriors will enter the 2019-2020 season without Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston — two key pieces of their championship run over the last five years. They still have two-time MVP Stephen Curry and defensive stalwart Draymond Green. But last month, Kerr shared that for this season, the team will be focused on developing its young players.

Per Drew Shiller of CNBC, Kerr shared his thoughts on the 6-foot-6 Evans:

“I think so. We look at him as a point guard now that we know him after a year,” Kerr said. “He’ll play some point in Vegas [at Summer League]. I know that Andre [Iguodala] and Shaun [Livingston] both really like him. I talked to both players about him.

“They like the fact that he can make plays and sees the game and he’s big and strong. Obviously not a great shooter, but you don’t always have to be a great shooter to play in this league.”

The Warriors have built a reputation as one of the best teams in the league in terms of player development. They’ve done it with the likes of Curry, Thompson, and Green. Given this reality, Warriors fans should keep their eyes peeled at Evans. He just might be the next one.