Warriors forward Dominic McGuire, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, had zero hesitation when asked if he wanted to come back to Golden State next season.
McGUIRE: “Hell yeah. Without a doubt. No question about it. I would like to be back here. Hopefully I found a home. We’ll see what happens.”
The San Diego native put together a performance on Tuesday that makes the feeling mutual for many Warriors fans. In 29 minutes off the bench, he totaled 4 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. And that doesn’t begin to illustrate his impact.
With Stephen Curry and Nate Robinson out, coach Mark Jackson turned to McGuire – and not rookie Charles Jenkins – to run the offense down the stretch. McGuire’s sure ball-handling was part of the reason the Warriors tied a franchise record with just 5 turnovers on Tuesday. With McGuire at point, the Warriors committed just 1 TO in the fourth quarter (it wasn’t his) and had their most-efficient offensive quarter of the night: 29 points on 57.1 percent shooting (for the game they shot 42.9 percent).
What’s more, McGuire was matched up against Pau Gasol a lot. (FYI: McGuire is 6-foot-9, 235 pounds. Gasol is 7-feet, 250 pounds). In 39 minutes, Gasol had 19 points on 8 of 16 shooting with 4 offensive rebounds. Hardly as dominating as you’d expect considering he was being checked by a small forward.
McGuire also successfully defended Kobe Bryant and Ramon Sessions for stints.
After the game, Mark Jackson raved about McGuire.
JACKSON: “It’s shocking to me that a guy like him was at home waiting for a phone call without a job. Anybody that wants to win and wants to develop a culture of winning – the phone should have been busy every time you tried to call. Everything we’ve asked him to do, he’s done it. The guy has played every position for us. When I hear a coach say that, I’m like ‘Oh, he’s exaggerating.’ But this guy has played every position for us offensively. He’s defended every great player we’ve faced – whether it be playing 20 minutes, 30 minutes or just 10 seconds at the end of the game. He’s a winner. He’s an absolute winner. We are fortunate to have him and hopefully we can keep him around.”
It was Warriors GM Larry Riley whose call got answered. He wound up signing McGuire to a non-guaranteed deal for $915,852.
McGuire is in his fifth season and on his fourth team. He’s played for Washington, Sacramento, Charlotte and the Warriors – so he doesn’t know much about winning at the NBA level. Still, McGuire has been a jewel of a find for a Warriors team purporting to be serious about defense. Lately, McGuire has been able to show some other parts of his game, mostly his ability to facilitate and create.
He’s won over his teammates with his toughness and swagger. They love him in the locker room for his jokes (He can talk trash with the best of them. Don’t get him started about dominoes), his competitiveness and his refusal to back down.
DAVID LEE: “The biggest thing with Dom is he’s a great locker room guy. He’s a guy who’s going to give a lot of effort every time he’s on the floor and he provides a lot of stability for us, especially defensively. He’s done an unbelievable job and I personally hope that he’s here for a long time to come.”