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Warriors waive backup forward Alfonzo McKinnie

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Forward Alfonzo McKinnie, who came from seemingly nowhere to give the Warriors a shot in the arm during the the first two months of the 2018-19 season, has been waived by the team, clearing way for Marquese Chriss to make the regular-season roster.

The news was first reported by NBA insider Shams Charania.

McKinnie averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and made 48.3% of his 3-pointers in 13 games between Oct. 22 and Nov. 15 last season. His playing time became intermittent during the rest of the season. He saw action in all 22 Warriors playoff games.

Chriss, a 6-10 power forward was drafted eighth overall by the Kings out of Washington in 2016 and immediately traded to the Suns. After two disappointing seasons in Phoenix, the Rockets took a chance on Chriss, acquiring him in a Ryan Anderson salary dump. But that experiment soured and he was sent along to Cleveland, where he finished out last season.

He’s averaged just 7.6 points per game in his career, but the Warriors have been impressed with Chriss since he signed with the team Sept. 30.

Draymond Green defended Chriss, seen by some as a draft bust, after Wednesday’s preseason game.

“I don’t think there was ever a doubt that he was a legitimate NBA player. I think everyone was just waiting for him to turn that corner, and he seems like he’s turned the corner. But I think he’s been in some pretty tough situations,” Green told reporters.

He’s scored 9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in four preseason games with the Warriors, who are suddenly thin in the frontcourt. Injuries to Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein may have forced the team into a spot where they needed to find a way to keep Chriss on the roster.

The Warriors now have nine new players on their 14-man roster.

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