OAKLAND -- There is no better time for Stephen Curry and Draymond Green to sit out a game than the preseason, if only because it gives the Warriors an opportunity to experiment.
Though coach Steve Kerr did not divulge who would start for either player Friday night, when the Warriors face the Sacramento Kings at KeyArena in Seattle, he relishes the opportunity to get a longer look at training camp hopefuls, such as Tyler Ulis, Marcus Derrickson and others.
"Our young guys have been great throughout camp," Kerr said after practice Thursday. "This gives me a chance to reward them with minutes, and it's well deserved. Tyler has had a great camp; he's going to play more tomorrow, with Steph out. With Draymond out, I imagine you'll see a little bit more of Marcus Derrickson.
"We'll see how it all plays out. But I'm planning on playing everybody."
Ulis, a 5-foot-9 point guard from the University of Kentucky, was signing using Exhibit 10. He spent his first two seasons with the Phoenix Suns, appearing in 132 games, including 58 starts. The release of Ulis last June displeased a lot of Suns fans and, more important, star shooting guard Devin Booker.
Derrickson, a 6-7 power forward from Georgetown, also was signed to an Exhibit 10 deal. The rookie shot 39.7 from deep in four seasons with the Hoyas and has shown a soft touch from beyond the arc in camp and made 2-of-5 beyond the arc in the preseason opener last Saturday.
The baby bigs continue to impress
The Warriors are coming to grips with the fact that, for the first time since 2000-01, they are starting the season without an established veteran center.
If training camp talk is any indication, they like what they're getting from the trio of Jordan Bell, Damian Jones and Kevon Looney.
"They've been terrific," assistant coach Ron Adams said. "They've given us a spark. We've had a tremendous training camp and they've had a lot to do with the enthusiasm being so high."
Jones will make his second consecutive start at center, but Bell and Looney -- who played more minutes than Jones in the preseason opener -- can expect considerable playing time.
"I'm excited about the growth I see in Loon," Durant said. "I played with him this summer (in Los Angeles) and his confidence is growing by the day. DJ is getting more experience, and Jordan as well.
"They're just young guys that are hungry to play, and know exactly what we need to do out there. They've been great compliments to everybody on the floor when they're out there. That's what a big's job is, to control things and complement everybody and they're doing a great job so far."
Durant knows his WNBA hoops
Kevin Durant is among the NBA superstars that follow the happenings of the WNBA. He not only enjoys the game but also recognizes similarities between players in each league.
"The WNBA game is beautiful," Durant said. "You can look over and see, if you enjoy players in our league, you can look over in the WNBA and see the equivalent up and down the line.
"Diana Taurasi plays with that same Kobe (Bryant) intensity, the same feel, and has that same longevity. You see (Elena) Delle Donne plays like Dirk (Nowitzki). So the players that you love in the NBA, you can kind of see them in the WNBA. And that's how you can appreciate the game. You've got Sue Bird, who is like multiple point guards in our league, and it's fun to watch from skill standpoint. I just love keeping up with the game and seeing how the players are progressing each year."
Bird is the 16-year veteran who at age 38 -- she's the league's oldest player -- was crucial in the Seattle Storm sweeping the Washington Mystics to win the WNBA Finals last month.
With the SuperSonics long gone, Seattle basketball belongs to the Storm. Expect them to be a strong presence Friday night,