After acquiring Chris Babb from the Celtics in the deal for David Lee, the Warriors appear intent on keeping the young guard through training camp and giving him an opportunity to make the team, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports.
While in most cases, the thought of an up and down D-League athlete competing for a roster spot on the NBA champion might be surprising, it shouldn't be here. Golden State's overall team makeup is rather eclectic, for lack of a better word. The organization likes to construct its roster with a very unique balance, leaving room for a healthy mix of veterans, youngsters, vibrant personalities and even more reserved ones, all creating a good presence both on and off the court.
Justin Holiday was a great example of the type of player Golden State recognized potential in, and provided an opportunity he might not have received on most other contenders. Though Holiday's playing time was still somewhat scarce, he was still a favored member of the squad both in the eyes of the coaching staff and his teammates.
The 26 year old caught on with the Warriors after strutting his stuff and proving his worth with Idaho Stampede. After his time in the minor league and overseas, Holiday was seemingly more mature and better prepared for his fist season in the NBA. He departs the Bay Area now a champion, choosing to cash in on a more lucrative contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
The Warriors can choose to develop the likes of James McAdoo and Festus Ezeli (among others) this coming season. As fate would have it, they also have another opportunity to pay it forward with Babb. Retaining him for camp and seeing what he's all about is the first step to doing so.
Much like Holiday, Babb boasts some seasoning with regard to preparing for the next step in his journey. Over the last two seasons, the 25 year old has bounced around and split time between the Celtics and their respective D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Babb may not have always been ready to take on the challenges of the NBA in the eyes of Boston, but the organization chose to keep an eye on him and monitor the progress. Such resilience paid off when he earned a call-up (yet again) towards the end of last season.
More of a combo-guard, Babb is a rather pesky defender. He has very good instincts, and what he may lack in pure athleticism, he makes up with his high basketball IQ. Though he can guard either position in the back-court, Babb's offensive skills are at most on display when it comes to the pick and roll and shooting around the perimeter.
Embracing his second campaign in the D-League, Babb welcomed the role of team-leader in Maine last season. Such maturity is something Golden State should welcome, even as Babb enters a different situation and attempts to learn more himself. He was very well respected in the locker room.
The Warriors are making a smart choice in seeing this through and giving Babb an opportunity to strut his stuff. If they prove to be patient enough, he'll likely prove that's more than merely an afterthought in a bigger trade.