Warriors: How could Eric Paschall’s role change in the future?

Warriors (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

It’s been a rough start to the season for the depleted Golden State Warriors, but Eric Paschall’s breakout has served as a glimmer of hope for their future.

If you’ve been paying attention, chances are there hasn’t been much to cheer about as a Golden State Warriors fan this season.

All the glowing optimism of the offseason that had the team chasing a playoff spot quickly disappeared as ugly losses and significant injuries to key pieces quickly piled up.

Already without Klay Thompson for the foreseeable future, Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jacob Evans III, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell have also missed significant time this season.

For a team already short on talent and lacking chemistry, this spelled disaster.

One bright spot amid the chaos has been rookie forward Eric Paschall. Selected with the 41st overall pick, Paschall currently leads all rookies in total points and ranks second in points per game trailing only Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.

While Paschall’s rookie classmate, first-rounder Jordan Poole, has struggled mightily adjusting to the NBA game, Paschall has far exceeded anyone’s expectations. Unheralded as an undersized big coming out of Villanova, Paschall is quickly emerging as a legitimate NBA prospect.

This narrative is a familiar one for Warriors fans, mirroring the path Green took to the NBA as an undersized and overlooked second rounder before emerging as an All-Star and defensive stalwart.

Realistically, Paschall’s stats are a bit inflated due to the fact he has been fortunate enough to escape the injury bug and play the lion’s share of minutes during this stretch. What cannot be denied, however, is how comfortable Paschall has looked against NBA competition.

Following a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans last month, Green told Anthony Slater of The Athletic “Right now, he’s just scoring off raw talent.”

All the experience Paschall is gaining this season should aid in his long-term development into a solid contributor down the line. Currently starting at small forward next to Green, Paschall’s role is almost certain to change once the team gets healthier.

Upon Thompson’s return, whether it be late this season or at the beginning of next, Paschall would immediately become part of the second unit.

This could benefit both Paschall and the Warriors, as he would be able to face the opposing team’s reserves more frequently, which could lead to more success on both ends of the ball.

Next. Warriors: Assessing D’Angelo Russell’s trade value. dark

Seeing how well Paschall has done already makes the future a bit brighter, amid all the gloom of the present.