There’s an old cliché of “living one day at a time” but for Warriors rookie Ky Bowman, it’s true. He literally has a ticking clock that keeps his NBA future in flux.
Bowman, undrafted out of Boston College, signed a two-way contract with the Warriors in late July. The 22-year-old expected to spend most of his time in Santa Cruz with the team’s G League affiliate, however, a flurry of injuries to Golden State changed plans.
Bowman already has played in 28 games this season for the Warriors. That has to be a pleasant surprise to the 6-foot-1 guard, but there’s a catch.
Players on two-way contracts cannot spend more than 45 days with their NBA teams. As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole pointed out prior to the Dubs’ 114-106 upset win over the Rockets on Christmas, Bowman now is down to 12 days he can spend with the Warriors.
On Ky Bowman and Warriors today: He was listed on Christmas Eve as out (inactive). That status remained in place Christmas morning. He was activated this afternoon. He’ll have 12 NBA days remaining from his original 45.
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) December 25, 2019
There’s no doubt that number is on Bowman’s mind, though, he’s trying not to worry about it too much.
“I am just going out there trying to do what I do and what the coaches want me to do,” Bowman recently said to The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “I am not trying to overplay or overthink.”
Bowman has been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. With injuries to stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson — plus D’Angelo Russell missing an extended period of time — the undersized guard has stepped in admirably. Bowman is a averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds over 22.9 minutes per game.
Coach Steve Kerr has seen Bowman grow under unkind circumstances and sees a bright future for him.
“He’s a very confident young player and he’s handled his minutes really well,” Kerr said to The Undefeated. “He’s had some good games for us, he’s seeing the mistakes that he’s making and responding positively.”
The Warriors must soon make a decision on Bowman. If he reaches his 45-day limit, the team has to either sign him to a standard contract, send him back to the G League or waive him — which would risk another team signing him. In the case the Warriors do sign him, they would have to cut a player or make a move to open a roster spot.
No matter what, Bowman has cherished his unexpected time in the NBA so far.
“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.”
It’s safe to say Bowman has nailed his audition.