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Warriors mailbag: Could Jeremy Lin fill an empty roster spot?

And what does the future hold for Nico Mannion and Eric Paschall?

NBA G League Playoffs - Lakeland Magic v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have a few days off before getting back in action, so it seemed as good a time as any to do a mailbag.

Let’s get to it.

Part of the reason why Nico Mannion has been getting so many minutes after his stint in the G League is because the Warriors have a limited amount of time to see if he figures into the team’s long-term plans.

Thank about how many youngsters the Warriors are already connected to for next year: they’re currently slated for one or two draft picks this year, plus potentially another rookie in Justinian Jessup; they have two second-year players in Mannion and James Wiseman; they have at least one third-year player in Jordan Poole, and potentially a second in Eric Paschall. I’m going to assume they don’t have a third in Alen Smailagić, but who knows.

As this year — and last year — have proved, this is not sustainable for the Dubs. They need to narrow their focus on a few youngsters, and build a more solid lineup elsewhere.

So that brings us to your question. Mannion has aced the test so far, and I don’t think the Warriors have much of a choice. Steve Kerr views him highly, and he’s played well enough that if the Warriors don’t re-sign him to a guaranteed contract, I think someone else will.

Mannion is averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 assists per 36 minutes, while shooting 40% from deep. For a 20-year old who had top-10 pedigree out of high school, that spells a contract. Depending on who the Warriors sign in the offseason, Mannion could still spend some significant time in the G League, but I expect him to be on a guaranteed contract while he does it.

This is a boring answer, but I think it’s the right one: the plan is to keep him in it unless a spectacular trade develops. Don’t be fooled by the Warriors complimentary words for Wiggins: if they’re able to ever trade his contract for a star, they will do so without thinking twice.

It just doesn’t seem likely to happen.

There have been cries from Warriors fans all year to sign Jeremy Lin, and I fully understand them. With that said, it’s worth remembering that the last time he played in the NBA, he wasn’t particularly good, and no one is more aware of what he’s capable of then the Warriors, who have part of their staff in Santa Cruz.

Right now the Dubs have plenty of point guard depth with Steph Curry, Nico Mannion, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole, and I’m not sure how much Lin’s mentorship helps a team that already has arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history on their roster.

Also, because of the Warriors tax situation, any signing will cost them three to five times the actual cost of the contract.

A lot of factors. Part of it is that it’s harder to find minutes for Juan Toscano-Anderson when Draymond Green is on the court. Part of it is that the Warriors are prioritizing developmental minutes, and already know what they have with JTA. And part of it is because Steve Kerr doesn’t like to play 12-13 players at a time, and would rather establish nine-man rotations for a few games, and then switch things up.

My guess is JTA will be getting solid minutes again someday soon.

Likely somewhere between 15 and 20.

I’m going to take these two together, assuming that the Warriors get pick No. 4 or 5 from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and their own pick between 15 and 20.

I don’t have any specific names, partially because it’s early in the draft process, and partially because I’m not a big college basketball person. So instead I’m going to answer with philosophies.

I think the Warriors will have the same philosophy with Minny’s pick as they did when selecting James Wiseman. There are about a half-dozen potential stars in the draft, so the Dubs will certainly have options. They’ll see who falls to them, take calls on trades, and eventually select the player who they think has star potential, but can also contribute in the near future.

As for their own pick, I think they’ll try and find a Tyrese Haliburton-style player — someone who is perhaps a little overlooked, and can slot into the rotation immediately. I also think they shop that pick pretty heavily.

Eric Paschall is a bit of a hot topic, and I get in hot water with Warriors fans when I talk about him but ... I don’t write the questions, just the answers, so here goes.

Truthfully, I don’t think Paschall fits the Warriors particularly well. Or even a little bit well. He’s a bad defensive player, at a position where it’s hard to hide bad defenders. He’s not a good three-point shooter, and the ball tends to stop when it lands in his hands. He works best as a small ball 5, which means he can’t share the court with Draymond Green or James Wiseman.

At this point he only has one good skill — isolation scoring as a driver — and that’s not nearly enough. Add in the fact that he’s already 24 — only five days younger than Devin Booker, and only a year younger than Kelly Oubre Jr. — and the future looks a little grim.

Of the 13 players on the Warriors who have played more than 100 minutes, Paschall ranks 12th in RAPTOR, an encompassing advanced metric, and it’s clear that Steve Kerr isn’t particularly high on him.

Paschall still has a year left on his contract, and probably still has value after his strong rookie year. I would expect the Warriors to trade him this offseason.

I’m not a doctor, or anything close to one, but if I had to guess it’s related to fast-twitch muscles being much smaller than strength muscles, and those are the ones NBA players are trained to develop.

Also, they probably look skinnier because the players are so tall.

Thanks to everyone for the great questions!

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