Brad Wanamaker fulfills Warriors' quest for solid Steph Curry backup

Monte Poole
·2 min read

Warriors' quest for Steph's backup leads them to Wanamaker originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In their search for a veteran point guard capable of playing behind Steph Curry, the Warriors sought neither excitement nor a poor man’s version of their franchise player.

They wanted a steady, reliable presence that could contribute on both ends, which is what they should get from Brad Wanamaker.

After the better part of the last two seasons with the Celtics, Wanamaker agreed on a one-year contract worth $2.25 million to join the Warriors, according to league sources. The news first was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Wanamaker, 31, is a reliable ball-handler and decision-maker who typically posts a solid assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s not a high-volume gunner, but he is fairly efficient, shooting 37.6 percent from distance and 91.5 percent at the line in 107 regular-season games with Boston.

The Warriors took particular note of Wanamaker’s work in last postseason. Over 17 games, he drained 44.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.

After seven years toiling in the rowdy arenas of Europe, he is fairly rattle-proof.

“He’s (Warriors coach Steve Kerr) Steve’s kind of guy,” one NBA executive said. “He’s very fundamental. Runs the offense, takes care of the ball and can hit shots.”

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Wanamaker is built for defense, with the strength and length to guard at least three positions. Boston’s defense was slightly better with him on the court than off.

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He did not, however, receive a qualifying offer from the Celtics. Why not?

One reason could be that Wanamaker is no more than an average athlete. He moves well but isn’t particularly explosive. He tends to offset that with anticipation and leverage.

Another reason is that he was the team’s third point guard, behind starter Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, the team’s top playmaker when Walker is off the floor. Boston also drafted Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard in the first round (No. 26 overall) on Wednesday.

Wanamaker was not Golden State’s first choice and probably not its second. But as other free-agent point guards found new homes, he was a nice pickup at a team-friendly salary.