SACRAMENTO — Marquese Chriss left the visitor’s locker at Golden 1 Center with heavy news on his mind as he walked to see his family following the Warriors’ 111-98 loss to the Kings.
Thumbing through a Chipote buffet, Chriss reconciled Golden State’s latest decision. By the end of the night, he was a free agent, with the Warriors waiving him and his non-guaranteed contract in hopes of reportedly converting two-way guard Damion Lee’s contract into a fully guaranteed deal, leaving Chriss’ immediate future in limbo.
“I’m alright, man,” Chriss told NBC Sports Bay Area just before the news was announced. “It’s in God’s hands. It’s going to be his decision to put me where I need to be to succeed in my life … like I said, it’s God’s plan.”
Chriss’ exit marks the end of a three-month stint with the Warriors. Back on Oct. 1, he joined the team as a reclamation project, signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the veteran’s minimum. Prior to his signing, the former first-round draft pick developed the reputation of a talented, but immature player, bouncing around three teams in three years.
During the preseason, Chriss earned a spot on the Warriors, averaging 9.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in five games. Injuries to Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney combined with Chriss’ play forced the Warriors to cut Alfonzo McKinnie to make room for the 22-year old forward.
Now, Chriss is a victim of similar circumstances. With Golden State up against the salary cap, coupled with the rise of Lee, Chriss was a prime candidate to be waived.
Additionally, league sources told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole that decision was not made due to the Warriors losing interest in Chriss. In 37 games, he averaged 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, while starting three games. All the while, Chriss stated his desire to stay in Golden State long-term.
The waiving of Marquese Chriss is not, according to NBA sources, a matter of the Warriors losing interest. They’re running out of time on two-way deals for Damion Lee and Ky Bowman. This is the first move. There will be more.
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) January 7, 2020
Now, in the wake of the Warriors’ decision, Chriss said he will look back his short stint fondly.
“It’s taught me a lot about myself, about what I’m capable of doing,” Chriss said. “Things happen for a reason. I think I’ve shown that I’m capable of a lot and that I belong where I am for a reason like I said, things happen and you just go with ’em.”