Warriors: Grading 2019 NBA Draft class’ rookie seasons

Warriors, Eric Paschall (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Warriors, Eric Paschall (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

3. Eric Paschall — B+

Eric Paschall heard 40 picks called on draft night before his name was announced as the 41st pick by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Despite the low draft stock, the power forward made an immediate impact for the Warriors.

In fact, in a gap year, no player on the Warriors roster took better advantage of the unique opportunity than Paschall. Early in the season, the 6-foot-6 forward looked like a potential NBA Rookie of the Year candidate.

However, similar to teammate Jordan Poole, Paschall battled some inconsistency as the season wore on. Unlike Poole, Paschall’s struggles may have stemmed from defenses shifting their attention to the power forward.

His early-season surge should not be too surprising given that he was a rare four-year athlete out of college. Compared to Poole or Smailagic, Paschall is much further along in his development.

In addition to this, given his age and experience, the Villanova product was thrust into an immediate leadership role on a young Warriors roster.

In 60 games, including 26 starts, Paschall produced 14 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 2.1 APG while shooting 50 percent from the field and being worth 2.1 win shares. Though, this came with a rough 29 percent success rate from beyond the arc.

As with any rookie, Paschall experienced the highs and lows of being in the NBA. In December, the 6-foot-6 forward posted only 9.5 PPG as defenses adjusted to his game.

However, he finished the year on a high note. In his final five games, generated 18 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 6.4 APG. He showed an impressive ability to score, especially given that he was able to do so without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the court.

With that being said, his ability to distribute the ball is another skill that stood out late in the season with Paschall.

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On defense, despite being undersized for a power forward, Paschall proved that he can defend multiple positions.

In a lot of ways, his game is similar to teammate Draymond Green.

He really impressed in his rookie season. There could be a long-term role for him with the Warriors but given the crowded starting lineup, he will come off the bench next season. He should still see substantial minutes while being one of the first reserves head coach Steve Kerr calls upon.

The first impression of the Warriors 2019 draft class was favorable. Paschall showed the most refined skill set of the three, but both Poole and Smailagic demonstrated the raw talent that could turn them into role players down the road.

Next. Warriors: 3 free agent centers to target in the offseason. dark

In a lost season and without a top pick, the Warriors were able to score a victory on draft night.