Young warriors create a fierce competition in the training camp menus

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr has a special name for the beginning of his warrior practices: The Golden Hour.

The first hour begins with veterans working in the weight room or training room, getting the treatment their bodies need. The court, at this point, is for young adults. It’s all about actors, actors, and more actors both physically and mentally. This can mean drills, 5-on-0 or simply bypassing concepts.

During this year’s training camp and throughout the pre-season, the first hour of training, along with the senior young veterans, has been very productive with what Kerr wants to achieve.

Together with Jordan Paul, who entered the stature of the 23-year-old star, the top of the young core of warriors consists of James Wiseman, Jonathan Kominga and Moses Moody. Kerr admitted on Monday that Wiseman has come much longer than he expected at this point. On the same day, Kuminga was praised for his understanding of how he could succeed in the Warriors’ attack, his defense on the ball, his attitude and his approach. All of that was rewarded with a Sunday start in power forward in the Warriors’ pre-season loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Moody still has confidence, and was the first player to come off the bench in pre-season with Paul starting the shooting guard as Klay Thompson continues to climb ahead of the season opener.

What really sets Kerr apart is that the group of Warriors players have made an initial impression and are vying for places with the top team and the Golden State’s G League chapter in Santa Cruz.

“Young people are really getting ahead,” Kerr said Monday. “I think this is one of the best crop of young agents we’ve ever had here. Probably the best when you look at the guys fighting for two-way positions and potential Santa Cruz players. It’s really impressive.

“Everyone is a good player and competes, and they have set a great tone for our camp.”

Kerr and the Warriors had already bid farewell to both McClung and Trayvon Williams, a decision the head coach said was not easy, and that the Warriors own Williams’ rights to the J-League. McClung is expected to play in the Philadelphia 76ers G League system this season.

That leaves Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lester Quinones, Ty Jerome, Pat Spencer, Jerome Robinson and Anthony Lamb, as well as draft rookies picking Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins as players to urge the organization to believe in.

Weatherspoon and Quinones currently own two Warriors two-way contracts. In his second season as a warrior, Weatherspoon feels more comfortable with the system and understanding the plays. He also says he has gained more confidence in his outside shot, an area of ​​the game that would give the defensive-minded goalkeeper a major boost in opportunity.

So far this preseason, Weatherspoon is 6-for-8 from the field and has only made his 3-point attempt.

Once this year’s draft ended, the Warriors took the opportunity to add the Quinones. They remain drawn to what a Memphis product can provide.

“Leicester is a really interesting prospect,” Kerr said. “He’s very athletic, good size, combo keeper, good pass. He can really finish the race on the edge. It’s an interesting prospect that we’ve loved all summer and continues to do well here in camp.

“We’ll see how you play it all.”

With an open spot on the 15-man roster, Weatherspoon has the cleanest path to seizing that honor. But all indications are that the Warriors will likely keep it open in the regular season. Ty Jerome could complicate matters for the big picture.

Jerome, 25, has essentially replaced McClung on the training camp roster and is a better fit as a first-passer with better size and more NBA experience. The former first-round pick is 6-foot-5, spending three years of the professional game on his record and clocking 42.3 percent from depth as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2020-21 season.

His first run as a Warrior didn’t go smoothly, turning the ball three times in six minutes off the bench on Sunday night, but Kerr didn’t overreact to the small sample size.

“Yes, Ty is a vet,” Kerr said on Monday. “I think that was really his attraction for us. He’s played a lot of points in the league. He’s a good size, he’s a good pass. We felt he’d fit in well with our roster, and because of his experience, we don’t. I don’t feel like we need to see a lot of him.” .

“We’ve seen him live many times.”

Of all the new names appearing daily at Chase Center, Spencer is easily the most wild card — for a number of reasons. After a dominant four-year career in Loyola’s lacrosse and winning what amounted to a Heisman Award at college lacrosse when he was young, Spencer used his college senior year of college to play basketball for Northwestern. In his only college basketball season, Spencer averaged 10.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.

Golden State holds the rights to the 26-year-old’s G League, and Kerr loves what he’s seen of him.

“A big fan of Pat,” Kerr said. “Great competitor, great sportsmanship in terms of his balance, coordination and core strength. He jumps with more explosive power than I realized. He had the play in Tokyo where he tried to drown out the whole team and got snagged.”

“I love that he’s a lacrosse guy. I think sports like soccer and hockey and lacrosse sort of establish the vision that you need in basketball where you have to see the court in front of you or in front of you and see everything in position wise I think all of those things are good for Pat.

“He needs to play. He doesn’t have a lot of basketball experience. It’s a really interesting prospect.”

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Baldwin and Rollins are working on guaranteed contracts and will be spending time in San Francisco and Santa Cruz this season. Rollins has struggled with his shot so far, although the Warriors are still high on his long-term outlook. He and a handful of younger players should get plenty of runs Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers in the Warriors’ fourth preseason game.

With three games pre-season, Baldwin continues to look like a steal with the 28th pick in the draft and could play his part in some truly meaningful minutes as a rookie. The 6-foot-tall striker has made 9 out of 12 shots from deep, and looks like a real threat from outside the arc.

Baldwin talks like the son of a real coach who has reached maturity well at the age of 19, he indulges in everything during his first bootcamp and always invites for any kind of competition.

“I think it’s cliched — iron sharpens iron,” Baldwin said on Monday. “And I think that was true. We have all these talents fighting for positions, but we’re also brothers. We push each other in a great way. When we’re in the locker room we share information with each other and when we’re on the field we share information with each other.”

“Competition is the best way to get better.”

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