It might seem like Eric Paschall is having a noteworthy rookie season for the Golden State Warriors. It would seem that way because he is.
Paschall is currently averaging 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Those are solid numbers, but they’re exceptional for a rookie.
If Paschall can hold those numbers, he’ll be just the 65th rookie in NBA history to average at least 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. And the majority of the other 64 players are very, very good. Here, you can check them out.
But here’s the spoiler: Eight active players sported those averages as rookies. Those eight? Carmelo Anthony, Vince Carter, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Impressive! Yet those numbers get even more impressive. Paschall is currently shooting the ball with very good efficiency, as he’s averaging a 58.3 true-shooting percentage. Most rookies who shot the ball enough to average 17 or more points per game struggled with their efficiency, but not Paschall.
Of the 65 players to have those averages as a rookie, Paschall ranks ninth in true-shooting. The eight ahead of him? Bill Cartwright, Magic Johnson, Adrian Dantley, David Robinson, Michael Jordan, Towns, Embiid, and Shaquille O’Neal. That’s a murderer’s row of talent, plus Cartwright (who was very good!).
While he may fit in with those eight in terms of numbers, Paschall stands out in terms of pre-draft pedigree. Cartwright was drafted third overall; Johnson first; Dantley sixth; Robinson first; Jordan third; Towns first; Embiid third; and O’Neal first.
Paschall? 41st. Slight difference.
Now, a million caveats apply, and a few thousand grains of salt should accompany these stats. Rookie performance is highly context dependent, and Paschall would not be close to the numbers he has if Steph Curry, D’Angelo Russell, and Draymond Green had stayed healthy all year.
And Paschall has only played in 19 games - he’s a long, long ways away from maintaining these averages over the course of an 82-game season.
Still and all, the numbers are quite impressive. And further proof that Paschall has had a phenomenal rookie campaign.