Warriors expect fully healthy training camp, preseason roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — This time around, things are different for the Warriors entering training camp — in a good way. Another Larry O’Brien Trophy is nothing new. The same goes with having new faces in the building.
What is different with training camp beginning Saturday at Chase Center, is the fact that the Warriors will come into camp and their preseason slate with a completely clean bill of health. No more setbacks, no more question marks.
James Wiseman has been good to go all offseason after playing four straight games in the Las Vegas Summer League. Rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. (ankle) and Ryan Rollins (foot) were held out for the entirety of summer league. That’s no longer the case.
None of those three will be restricted in practice or preseason, barring a later issue popping up.
What coach Steve Kerr will do in the preseason is make sure everyone gets minutes. All 20 players on their training camp roster will travel with the team to Japan on Tuesday for their two preseason games against the Washington Wizards, and all will see time at some point.
That also means being smart with veteran stars like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
“We’re expecting everybody to be ready to go,” Kerr said Thursday at Chase Center. “But we will take precautionary measures for anybody, especially our veteran guys, if there’s anything, you know, especially early in camp, we want to make sure we ramp them up at the right pace.
“We’ll get a good feel for that the first day or two.”
Everyone is excited to get a glimpse of what Baldwin and Rollins can give Golden State, not just this season but more importantly in the future. However, the spotlight will shine brightest on Wiseman. He’s entering his third NBA season, and this will be his first training camp.
A combination of injuries and COVID held him out the first two years. Playing four games in a row this summer in Las Vegas was his longest stretch of games played since April of 2021, before his rookie came to a screeching halt due to a knee injury that lingered longer than anyone could have imagined.
Still only 21 years old, Wiseman finally is getting the fundamental reps and experience that every young player desperately needs in the NBA.
“I think what James missed between two training camps and two summer leagues, too, is just all the foundational stuff that young players need,” Kerr said. “This is not 30 years ago where Patrick Ewing plays four years at Georgetown or Tim Duncan plays four years at Wake Forest and you’re getting these guys that are ready to roll right away.
“In a case like James, you have three college games and zero training camp, zero summer leagues. So now comes the foundational stuff. His work ethic is fantastic. His approach, his attitude … he’s beloved by his teammates. They are seeing how hard he works.
“So now it’s a matter of experience. He just has to keep playing, and we have got to continue to be patient and allow that development to happen at an organic, natural rate.”
Kerr and the Warriors want and expect incremental growth and progress from Wiseman. They won’t throw him to the wolves right out of the gate like they did during his rookie year. Slowly but surely, the coaching staff will be able to forecast what he brings to them at full strength.
A player they won’t have to guess about when it comes to envisioning him without limitations is one who’s 11 years older than Wiseman. That’s Klay Thompson, who is wrapping up his first healthy offseason since going into the 2018-19 season.
His coach still is amazed at what Thompson did for the Warriors in a championship season after missing the previous two-and-a-half years to two separate leg injuries, and can’t wait to watch him at full-go again.
“Our training staff repeatedly has told us, and told him last year, that he will be better this year than he was the second half of last year just because of the nature of the rehab,” Kerr said. “I expect him to have a big year and be more consistent.
“I thought he showed that he was still himself last year, but it was more sporadic. I think it will be more consistent this year. I think we are all sort of anticipating that.”
RELATED: Kerr: Klay poised for ‘big year’ after ‘underrated’ Finals series
Maybe it’s Roger Waters setting up for his concert at the Warriors’ home court, but Kerr’s sentiments are music to the ears of Dub Nation.
The Warriors thus far have checked the biggest box and most vital worry that every team faces: Health. Knock on wood and set your worries aside. Warriors basketball officially is back.
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