NBA G League Rookie of the Year Mac McClung joins Warriors

After sporting Lakers threads during the California Classic, the first of three 2022 NBA Summer League events, McClung has decided to leave the team to join the Warriors’ summer league team. McClung appeared in the first two games of the California Classic for the Lakers, averaging 13.0 points per game — the fourth-highest average among all players that competed — before not seeing the court in the title game.

Despite his strong play, McClung was coming off of the bench, playing behind Max Christie, the Lakers’ sole 2022 draft pick, and Scottie Pippen Jr., who the team signed to a two-way contract last week. Joining the Warriors provides McClung an opportunity to shine in place of guard Ryan Rollins, the Dubs’ second-round pick who is out for the summer with a foot fracture. So far this summer, the Warriors, who went 0-3 during the California Classic, have started Moses Moody, Lester Quinones, Payton Willis and Quinndary Weatherspoon in the backcourt. McClung has an explosiveness and scoring aptitude that could turn things around for the team’s summer squad.

While players under contract for an organization are free to play for their summer league team, those without contractual obligations can compete for any team. Only players who have signed contracts are paid a salary for summer league competition; remaining players have room, board and transportation covered, but no compensation other than a per diem that’s reportedly $1,500 total.

For McClung, he likely hopes to continue to earn another contract after signing a two-way deal in April with the Lakers that lasted through the end of the season. The Texas Tech product also signed two 10-day contracts with the Chicago Bulls earlier in the season, but only appeared in one game for them. While he only has two NBA appearances under his belt, McClung’s averages of 21.7 points and 7.6 assists per game in the G League earned him the G League Rookie of the Year title. Prior to professional play, McClung made a name for himself during high school after going viral on YouTube for his in-game dunks and high scoring outputs. In college, he played two seasons at Georgetown before transferring to Texas Tech and ultimately declaring for the NBA Draft a year later.

While McClung is unlikely to start the 2022-23 season with the Warriors, who have seven guards under contract for the upcoming year, he could very well earn a spot with another team. And at the very least, he provides the potential for a summer league team that has still yet to find the win column.

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