With the NBA season starting this week, we’re running through mini previews of the Golden State Warriors’ 16 players, focusing on what their best and worst case scenario is for the upcoming year. Next up is rookie Eric Paschall. You can check out the other best case/worst case articles below:
5 games, 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game
48.4% 2FG, 25% 3FG, 82.4% FT, 55.3% true-shooting
2018-19 stats (Villanova)
36 games, 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game
53.2% 2FG, 34.8% 3FG, 74.6% FT, 57.0% true-shooting
Role on the 2019-20 Warriors
Eric Paschall’s role will be a fair bit larger than it figured to be when the Warriors drafted him 41st overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Back then, the Warriors still had Andre Iguodala. They held out hopes of retaining Kevin Durant. They assumed that one way or another, the small forward position would be filled, and Paschall could simply serve as an occasional backup 4 for Draymond Green.
Now the Warriors need Paschall to be an NBA-ready rookie. It appears as though he’ll break camp as Green’s primary backup - an important role - and likely see some minutes at the 3 as well. He averaged more than 23 minutes a night in preseason, and that gives a little bit of a preview for how the Warriors will use him.
Best case scenario
Paschall is nearly as old as Kevon Looney. That arguably limits his ceiling, but it certainly raises his floor.
The Warriors hope that four years of college ball - plus a redshirt year - have made Paschall an NBA-ready defender from day one. His jumper shows some promise, even if its funky looking.
At best, he’ll be a mini Green on defense, guarding multiple positions, and playing with physicality and intelligence. He’ll knock down some open jumpers, play with toughness and energy, and give the Warriors 20 solid minutes a night.
Worst case scenario
The Warriors thought they had an NBA-ready rookie last year in Jacob Evans III. They were wrong. They hoped they had an NBA-ready rookie in 2016-17 in Damian Jones. They didn’t.
In between, they drafted Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell, and received results that lived somewhere between successful and disappointing (in the rookie years, at least . . . safe to say those ended in disappointment).
Paschall looks NBA ready, but that’s a huge ask for any rookie, let alone a mid-second round pick. There’s certainly a chance that the NBA game proves too much, too quickly for the young forward. It’s faster than college. It’s smarter than college. It’s more physical than college.
There’s a chance that Paschall is overwhelmed defensively, and finds himself too small to guard bullying 4s, and too slow to stay with 3s. He gets lost on offense, and his lack of a jumper makes him hard to keep on the floor.
In this worst case scenario, he’s a developmental piece who spends a lot of time in Santa Cruz, preparing for 2020-21; fine in any year, but not what the Warriors need now, given their lack of depth.