The depleted Warriors decided to move forward with filling their final roster spot Thursday night, converting two-way forward Anthony Lamb to a standard NBA deal, a source confirmed Thursday evening.
Lamb is expected to be available Friday in Atlanta for a game the Warriors desperately needed bodies. Golden State was down to just nine available players after Draymond Green was suspended for one game without pay after picking up his penalty-triggering 16th technical foul of the season in Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers.
The Warriors are also without Andrew Wiggins, who remains away tending to a family matter; Gary Payton II, who is ramping up after a core injury sidelined him for the last month-plus; and Andre Iguodala, who needs what could turn out to be season-ending surgery on his broken wrist.
Draymond Green was asked how Westbrook improved from the last time the Clippers and Warriors met, and Green gave an overly simple answer.
“He made some shots he missed,” Green said. “I thought he did a good job of not solely standing all the time, but he made some shots that he missed last time.”
Two-way players lose their eligibility after 50 games played and Lamb’s eligibility expired after the Warriors’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 5.
Lamb is averaging 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game on 47.5 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range in 20.1 minutes of action for the Warriors this season.
After Clippers’ Ivica Zubac made a hook shot late in the first half, Green was bumped off-balance by Russell Westbrook, crashing in again from the corner for an offensive rebound. The ball went through the hoop and landed in Green’s hands. As he turned around, he tossed it off Westbrook’s head. Both Westbrook and George motioned to the referee. Green was hit with a technical.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently expressed a desire to have Lamb converted into a standard deal, and will now have him as an option for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs. It is unclear if this was the plan from the beginning, or a product of Iguodala’s injury, but Lamb’s spot on the roster is now solidified.
While Lamb does project to get rotation minutes for the remainder of the regular season, the Warriors have much more to figure out beyond the official addition of a two-way player. The team has lost nine-straight games on the road, and must correct this soon if they want to avoid the play-in tournament.
“When we play two bigs we can have him at the three or you can play him at the four. So he’s been really helpful for us this year.”
Lamb, 24, has not been charged with a crime and is not named as a defendant in the recent lawsuit. He’s denied the allegations. Meanwhile, the Warriors have said they did their due diligence by reaching out to the league and Lamb’s previous teams.
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