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Why JaMychal Green is Warriors’ replacement for Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica

Kerr: JaMychal is ‘one guy replacing two’ on Warriors roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After winning the biggest prize in basketball by defeating the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals, the Warriors stumbled into a few offseason losses.

Gary Payton II opted to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers. Otto Porter Jr. went north to the Toronto Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica packed his bags and crossed the pond to Turkey.

While Donte DiVincenzo and Moses Moody are expected to fill the void of Payton, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes JaMychal Green, signed after being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and waived, can fill the other two holes on the roster himself.

“He’s the logical replacement for Otto and Beli,” Kerr told Anthony Slater in an interview with The Athletic. “One guy replacing two. He’s capable of playing either role, the four or the five. If he’s playing with Draymond, he can stretch the floor and can guard the five, while Draymond [Green] guards the four. He gives us frontcourt flexibility.”

The Warriors’ newcomer expects to make the most of his Green partnership with Draymond.

“Just coming in and playing hard,” Green said during his introductory news conference Monday when asked about his role with the Warriors. “Be a dog. Do the dirty work, help Draymond out with the dirty work and knock down shots and play defense.”

JaMychal Green did not enter the NBA as an outside shooter, but in his third season he began gravitating to the arc and continued to put up shots. Over a five-season stretch from 2016-21, Green shot 38.5 percent from deep on 2.8 attempts per game.

But last year, Green struggled from beyond the arc. He nailed just 26.6 percent of his attempts and saw his minutes decrease because of it.

Green explained his shooting problems in his introductory press conference Tuesday, saying he was enduring a wrist injury and expressed confidence in turning those numbers around.

Kerr agrees.

“I have a lot of confidence he’ll shoot the ball well,” the Warriors coach told Slater. “Players generally shoot the ball better with us, I think. That’s not always true. But the space that Steph and Klay provide them along with Draymond’s passing. You saw it with Otto and Gary last year.”

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In his lone season with the Warriors, Porter logged an effective field-goal clip of 56 percent, the third-highest mark in his career. Payton entered the season as a 26.7 percent shooter from deep, but he knocked down treys at a 35.8 percent clip last season.

That bodes well for Green.

“I think JaMychal will love playing with our guys,” Kerr said.

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