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Mailbag: What to do with Eric Paschall?

Plus, what should the Warriors do with Brad Wanamaker, and what should the deadline look like?

Golden State Warriors v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Welcome back to another Golden State Warriors mailbag.

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Maybe.

Let’s get into it.

Brad Wanamaker definitely doesn’t have a lot of trade value, but I do think that he has some. The Warriors added a lot of second-round picks last year trading Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks, and Glenn Robinson III, and while Wanamaker doesn’t have the per game stats of those three, he does have value and proven worth.

I know that Wanamaker is an easy target for Warriors fans this year, and that’s understandable. But let’s not forget that he averaged more than 19 minutes per game last year for a Boston Celtics team that finished third in the East and made the Conference Finals. What he does do (play defense, make open threes), he does very well. The problem is that what he doesn’t do (make plays) is the one thing the Warriors desperately need from him.

Wanamaker was a heavy part of the Celtics postseason rotation last year, and I could see another playoff-bound team interested in having him for a similar role. It’s not hard to envision a team that already has a playmaker in the second unit — similar to Boston last year — being willing to give up a second-rounder for him.

If a trade for Karl-Anthony Towns opens up, 29 teams should go for it. KAT is, to borrow a description from Zach Lowe, arguably the most diverse offensive center in NBA history. Towns is huge and strong, has a ludicrous array of low post tools, is a dynamic rim-runner, and has shot over 40% from three-point range in three of the last four seasons. Put him next to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and, health permitting, that might be the best offense in NBA history.

OK, now that we’ve got the good part out of the way, let’s get the bad part out of the way. Towns is 25, one of the best players in the league when healthy, and has many more years of team control. Even if Minny decided to trade him, a package of James Wiseman and every first-rounder that Golden State can trade is unlikely to even start a conversation. I don’t see any feasible way for the Warriors to swing a trade for Towns, even if he demanded out.

It’s sure fun to dream about, though.

This is a hard and not fun one. I’ve been harder on Eric Paschall than most. As fun and surprising as his rookie season was, I felt that the good stats oversold how well he actually played. Unfortunately, I think that has been on display this season.

The fundamental issue with Paschall is that right now he only has one good skill: scoring in isolation while moving north-south. The directional part is important to note, because Paschall doesn’t like to hang out on the block; he’d rather start from the perimeter, but he’s not a threat shooting the ball (he’s a career 29.2% shooter from deep). If you don’t shoot threes well, but you like to initiate from the three-point line (or thereabouts), you’re just begging for defenses to sag off you, and play 5-on-4 when the ball isn’t in your hands. It’s why the offense often looks like it’s struggling when Paschall is on the court, even when he’s having a nice game.

Unless he develops a three-point shot, or becomes a decent defensive player (right now he has no position defensively, and not in the good way), I really don’t see how he can contribute to a quality NBA team.

If I were Bob Myers, I would definitely be checking in to see if other teams are high on him.

I think a dirty little secret that most NBA — and NFL — teams like to ignore is that good coaches are rarely good for every team. You can be great in one situation, and not so good in another.

Warriors fans should know this. Don Nelson was a magician with certain rosters, and borderline clueless with others. And most Dubs fans can even admit that Mark Jackson, despite ... uhh, everything ... was a pretty darn good coach for a season or two.

Steve Kerr is not having a good season. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that. You know who else isn’t having a good season? Nick Nurse. Mike Budenholzer has had plenty of them. I can only think of two NBA coaches — Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra — that I would feel comfortable coaching any roster.

I realize that doesn’t actually answer your question, but I think it’s an important reminder. And anyone who says Kerr was bailed out by good rosters is, in my opinion, painfully wrong. No one thought that was a world-beating roster when Kerr took over, and we’ve seen countless superteams fall flat.

OK, on to your question. The Warriors are playing for next season, when Klay Thompson is healthy. Sure, they’re trying to win games this year, but part of the value in winning games this year is seeing how players fit. Can Andrew Wiggins genuinely fit into his role when the Warriors are trying to win and not just goofing around and tanking? Can Kelly Oubre Jr.? Can James Wiseman and Jordan Poole?

I still have a lot of faith in Kerr coaching a team built around Steph curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Until he proves he isn’t — or until the team moves on from that core — I’ll continue to believe he’s the right coach, even if we’re seeing some pretty big flaws right now.

It really depends on if the team is interested in re-signing Kelly Oubre Jr. If they’re not, then the best scenario is trading him for someone they are interested in long term, so they can hang onto that salary opportunity.

If they do intend to re-sign him, then I think the best scenario is trading Brad Wanamaker and Eric Paschall for a draft pick or mid-rotation role player.

Thanks to everyone for the questions!

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