Ky Bowman making the most of time with Warriors, but will it soon come to an end?
Golden State’s surprise rookie on two-way deal ‘auditioning for everybody’
Ky Bowman has been living out of his suitcase. But the time is nearing when he will learn if he can finally unpack it in San Francisco as a full-time member of the Golden State Warriors.
“I’m really trying to take it one day at a time and not think about it too much. I can only control what I can control,” Bowman recently told The Undefeated.
The Warriors signed Bowman, 22, to a two-way contract on July 23 and expected him to spend most of the season in the G-League. But with several injuries at the guard position, including all-stars Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the Warriors have been in desperate need of Bowman’s help. He has already played in 26 games for Steve Kerr’s squad.
But players on two-way contracts cannot spend more than 45 days with their NBA team. According to his agent, Bowman has only 13 days left that he can spend with the Warriors. To slow down the clock, the Warriors recently sent Bowman down to the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors to play two games and also had him skip practices. But Bowman was recalled on Monday after Glenn Robinson III went down with an ankle injury.
Bowman has been one of the biggest surprises of the rookie class this season. Undrafted out of Boston College, Bowman enters Christmas Day averaging 8.6 points and 2.7 assists in 22.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point range. Bowman scored a career-high 24 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 24.
“I am just going out there trying to do what I do and what the coaches want me to do,” Bowman said. “I am not trying to overplay or overthink.”
Bowman said he listened to advice from veteran forward Draymond Green, who told him to find a role to best help the Warriors and focus on defense. The 6-foot-1 point guard is averaging nearly a steal per game.
“I just have faith in myself. That is where it really starts,” Bowman said. “You have to believe in yourself before others believe in you. That is the biggest. Once you believe in yourself, you can do a lot.”
Kerr has said he would like to keep Bowman beyond this season.
“He’s a very confident young player and he’s handled his minutes really well,” Kerr said. “He’s had some good games for us, he’s seeing the mistakes that he’s making and responding positively.”
If Bowman reaches 45 days with the Warriors, the team would either have to sign him to a standard contract, send him back to the G-League for the rest of the season, or waive him. If they sign him, the Warriors would have to open up a roster spot by cutting a player or making a creative roster move. If they waive him, another NBA team can sign Bowman to a contract or as a two-way player.
Regardless of what the Warriors ultimately decide, Bowman appreciates the opportunity that showed he can play in the NBA.
“It’s a good thing,” Bowman said. “I was able to showcase my skills just through the time I have been up. I have put pressure on them. But if you think about it, I’m not just auditioning for them, I’m auditioning for everybody. The opportunity I’ve had to showcase myself opens the door for the rest of my career.”
Bowman will get a chance to showcase his skills on Christmas Day, too, when the Warriors host the Houston Rockets (ABC, 5 p.m. ET).
“Growing up watching these games and now being able to be part of it is just a blessing,” Bowman said. “I’m a kid from Havelock, North Carolina. Who knew I would be here? It’s a true testament to my family, inner circle of advisers and my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I have a lot more work to do, but I’m living out my wildest dreams.”