Kevin Durant may be gone, but it appears the comparisons between the Golden State Warriors and 1990s Chicago Bulls will go on.
The NBA’s most recent dynasty pulled a page out of the history book of one of the league’s most famous dynasties, as the Warriors on Monday announced the signing of free agent center Kavion Pippen, the nephew of Bulls legend Scottie Pippen.
Kavion Pippen, 22, averaged 12.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.7 blocks in two seasons at Southern Illinois but went undrafted in June. The 6-foot-10 Arkansas native was named All-Missouri Valley Conference third team and MVC All-Defensive Team as a senior.
Though terms of the deal were not announced, it is believed to be a non-guaranteed contract, but one that could offer Pippen a shot at making the team on a two-way deal.
The Warriors have a need for a big man with Willie Cauley-Stein to miss all of camp with a foot injury, Kevon Looney dealing with a hamstring injury and second-round pick Alen Smailagic out for the “foreseeable future,” according to The Athletic, due to a sprained ankle.
The Warriors have won three of the last five NBA championships and made the NBA Finals in each of the past five seasons. But with Durant leaving for Brooklyn via free agency, Andre Iguodala dealt to Memphis and sharpshooter Klay Thompson expected to be out until February or March as he recovers from a torn ACL, the Warriors are in their biggest transition phase since head coach Steve Kerr joined the club in 2014 and the Finals run began.
Scottie Pippen, 54, played 17 seasons in the NBA, the first 11 and last one with the Bulls. Playing as sidekick to Michael Jordan, Pippen helped Chicago win six NBA championships in eight seasons. He made seven All-Star Games and carved out a career that landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame.