The start of Alen Smailagic's second NBA season will have to wait.
The Warriors announced Friday night that the big man is out for a few weeks with a torn right meniscus, and he will undergo surgery in the coming days.
Warriors update on Alen Smailagic: A right meniscus tear, surgery in the coming days, they expect he’ll be out a few weeks, not months.
— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) January 2, 2021
Warriors announce F/C Alen Smailagic was diagnosed with a torn R meniscus. Will have surgery and be out a few weeks.
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) January 2, 2021
Smailagic, 20, has not appeared in a game this season. He played in 14 games last season, averaging 4.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in just under 10 minutes per game. Golden State drafted the Serbian with the No. 39 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft after he spent the 2018-19 season with the G League's Santa Cruz Warriors.
The second-year pro is the latest frontcourt player on the Warriors to miss time. Marquese Chriss sustained a season-ending broken leg earlier this week. Rookie center James Wiseman tweaked his ankle in Friday night's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, but he isn't expected to miss time.
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The Warriors said Smailagic will miss weeks rather than months. But with Chriss and Klay Thompson out for the remainder of the season, the Warriors are one longer-term injury away from being able to apply for a hardship exception.
If a team has 4 players who are expected to be out for at least 2 weeks, the hardship exception allows the team to sign a 16th player temporarily without having to cut someone.
Klay, Chriss, Smiley is 3. One more and they are there. https://t.co/KSQ0JbRcHv
— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) January 2, 2021
Golden State still also has a $9.3 million disabled player exception it can use following Thompson's injury.