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Steve Kerr: Aaron Craft ‘embodies what Warriors want to be,’ could make team or go to Santa Cruz

WALNUT CREEK – Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered high praise for undrafted point guard Aaron Craft, who agreed to a partially-guaranteed contract and accepted an invitation to training camp just as he always has.

“We love Aaron’s competitiveness and his defense and his energy and his intelligence,” Kerr said Thursday. “He sort of embodies what we want to be and what we’re becoming as a franchise.

“Whether he’s good enough or not, we’ll see, but we like the idea of bringing him to camp and possibly sending him to Santa Cruz to work on his game. But he impressed us in summer league, and he earned a spot in camp for sure.”

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Kerr has long admired the 6-foot-2 Craft, who was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as its national defensive player of the year this past season.

In January while Kerr was a TNT broadcaster, he tweeted of the Ohio State star, “What position does Aaron Craft play, you ask? ‘Winner.’” Last month while playing for the Warriors’ Summer League team, Kerr said, “People have their opinions of him in terms of he doesn’t shoot it well enough, he doesn’t do this…He competes, and he wins.”

Craft, 23, told the Columbus Dispatch he wanted to be one of the first players on the squad to begin working out before training camp starts.

“They gave us some money to come to training camp, and then it varies depending on what happens after that,” Craft told the paper. “It feels good to have a little something solid to go on after what this summer has been.

“I think coach Kerr appreciated the competitiveness and the basketball IQ I showed in the week we were there. I think we’re very similar players. There were a few times we were calling out the same plays; our minds were working the same. I think that definitely helped.”

Diamond Leung