Drafted No. 8 overall in 2016, Marquese Chriss was perhaps down to his last chance to stick on an NBA roster after falling out with the Suns, Rockets and Cavaliers. The Warriors, in need of big men with Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein dealing with injuries, gave Chriss a non-guaranteed shot to make the regular-season roster, and after a strong showing throughout the preseason, Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that Chriss has done just that.
Sources: The Golden State Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, clearing way for Marquese Chriss to make regular-season roster. McKinnie will be one of the top available players on market.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 18, 2019
You can see the casualty here is Alfonzo McKinnie. Hard-capped after the D'Angelo Russell trade the Warriors didn't have the cap space to add Chriss outright. McKinnie's deal was non-guaranteed. There were potentially other routes for the Warriors to open up the room for Chriss -- trading Jacob Evans, for instance. If, theoretically, Golden State could've traded Evans to a team with enough cap space to absorb his contract, and thus not had to take any money back, they could've added Chriss and kept McKinnie, too.
But those were extra hoops to jump through, and in the end, it's McKinnie who goes. It's not all bad news for McKinnie, who proved in his time with Golden State that he's a legit rotational NBA player. He'll almost certainly catch on somewhere, perhaps somewhere he will get a better opportunity to play consistent minutes than he was going to get with Golden State this season.
As for Chriss, this is his best shot to finally fulfill his obvious potential. With Looney and Cauley-Stein still on the mend, there's a chance Chriss is the Warriors' starting center on opening night. He's 6-foot-10, super athletic on both ends, and has the potential to stretch the floor as a 3-point shooter. The Warriors need him. And he clearly needs the Warriors, as he's been unable to make a real impact anywhere else in the league.
Remember, JaVale McGee was basically written out of the league until the Warriors brought him in and he played great and now he's starting for the Lakers. Chriss, who's still just 22 years old, won't find a better situation to finally make the most of his talent.