What is Ryan Rollins’ rookie role?

What is Ryan Rollins’ rookie role?

What Warriors fans can expect from Rollins in 2022-23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Life came fast for Ryan Rollins. He was a three-star recruit in high school, struggling to attract major universities. But after being named the MAC Freshman of the Year in Toledo, Rollins began to realize that his NBA dreams could come true.

After an impressive sophomore season, the Warriors did it for Rollins — drafting him with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Golden State spent $2 million to move up seven spots for the long, lanky guard. They obviously had their eyes on him.

Rollins impressed coach Steve Kerr from afar, and the Warriors saw him as a first-round talent. In late July, a month after the draft, the Warriors signed Rollins to a three-year, $4.8 million rookie contract. The first two years are fully guaranteed, and the Warriors had to dip their toes into the mid-level exception to get a multi-year deal.

Can he carve out a role as a rookie, though? It won’t be easy.

2022-23 Expectations

The Warriors’ roster is at its deepest in years, with a strong top 11 that will be hard to topple. These are the players they will have to overcome: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green. That doesn’t include the possibility of Andre Iguodala returning.

Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr. they will have difficult hills to climb.

Since Golden State took Green in 2012, Eric Paschal leads franchise second-round picks in games played as a Warrior with 100 over two seasons. Ognjen Kuzmic played 37 over two seasons and Nico Mannion played 30 in the lone season he suited up for the Dubs.

Paschall was named to the 2020 NBA All-Rookie Team, playing 60 games and averaging 14.0 points per game on a Warriors team that was without Curry, without Thompson, without Kevin Durant, without Green at halftime and won a lower championship. 15 games. His role diminished the following year, and the Warriors traded him to the Utah Jazz last offseason.

No matter how much the Warriors like Rollins, he’s still just 20 years old and a long-term investment. Paschall was 24 and a half when he was traded.

At Toledo, Rollins averaged 16.4 points in his two seasons and 18.9 as a sophomore. He was a mid-range nightmare, but only shot 31.7 percent from there. This is one area he wants to improve on. What will get him NBA minutes sooner rather than later is the emphasis on the other side of the ball.

Listed at 6-foot-4, Rollins has a 6-foot-10 wingspan. Maybe his game has a little bit of Shaun Livingston, maybe it has a little bit of Gary Payton II. We won’t know until we finally see him on the floor, and Rollins is reportedly ready to go to training after missing the entire Summer League as a precaution against his physical condition with a slight fracture in his foot.

RELATED: Rollins’ tattoos tell story, motivation for family

The reality is that Rollins will likely be wearing a Santa Cruz Warriors jersey for a large portion of the season as a rookie. If he shows how important defense is to him and that he can control an offense, Rollins could find time as a ballhandler behind the rotation when the Warriors keep their players with big minutes.

Hang in there, Dub Nation.

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